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Eloise Has The Answers You’re Looking For

Posted on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024

Dave!Yesterday was a really tough day.

My knee that I was complaining about froze up somehow, so I was downing Ibuprofen in the hopes that I could ignore the pain and concentrate on work. And of course we were coming back from a three day weekend which followed a week where most businesses were closed, so I was insanely busy. By the time I made it home, I was hurting, I was exhausted, and all I really wanted to do was go to bed.

But my cats would be wanting dinner in two hours, so going to bed wasn't an option.

And so I decided to see if there was a comedy playing on Amazon Freevee. It had to be a comedy because I just couldn't handle anything else.

For some reason, this movie caught my eye...

Half Brothers Movie Poster.

Two guys running with a goat. How serious could that be? Probably stupid, but I'll put it on while I catch up on the internet and such.

I was not even remotely prepared for this.

It's a comedy alright... but that's just a part of it.

The film also has some of the most gut-wrenching emotional beats I've ever seen. And they're brought to life by incredible performances. No kidding. I'd put Juan Pablo Espinosa's emotional arc up against anybody. And the half-brothers casting of Luis Gerardo Méndez, whose facial reactions carry the movie... and Connor del Rio, whose craziness would sink the film if he wasn't able to balance it with a deep hurting that's in contrast to how his character acts... it's just inspired stuff. Movies with budgets that are hundreds of times bigger would be lucky to have this kind of talent in front of the camera.

But that's not even the half of it. There's thoughtful commentary on immigration that hits hard, and it all comes from what you see... nobody is lecturing you about anything. There's stereotypes examined on both sides of the border that get dismantled in very good ways. There's themes of acceptance and kindness that feel like they should be grossly out of place, and yet they work.

After watching the ending... which is flawless... the first thing I did after I managed to put myself back together was to see what score it had over at Rotten Tomatoes...

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37% Critics and 81% Audience Score.

Critics had no love for the film. But that audience score is very respectable. Which means the people who watched it just to be entertained were moved by it.

I had never heard of this film when it was released in 2020. Of course this was prime pandemic season, so I guess that tracks. But I never heard of it when it was released to video either. I then tracked down the trailer on YouTube, which is great... if you've seen the film. But given the complex nature of how it's constructed, no trailer was ever going to do it justice. How could it? It was promoted as a kind of slapstick buddy comedy...

But anyway...

Yeah, this wasn't the movie I wanted, but it ended up being the movie I needed.

I got the comedy I was looking for, it just so happens that it's sandwiched in-between emotional punches to the gut. One minute you're dying because the bed-jumping scene through the window of the motel is so hilarious... then the movie pivots on a dime, and suddenly there's a note of tragedy that makes you forget you were laughing at the same character just seconds before.

So, yeah. Highest possible recommendation. And it's free to watch on Amazon Freevee.

I loved the movie so much that I ended up paying the $15 to buy it on Apple's iTunes store because there were deleted and extended scenes... and a director's commentary. At which point I watched the movie all over again so I could hear Luke Greenfield talk about how it all came together. Turns out a lot of thought went into every shot... including how colors were used to help tell the story. But the biggest takeaway was how difficult the movie was to make because they had no money. Everything was shot on a shoestring. The road scenes were all shot on the same stretch of roads because they couldn't afford to go anywhere else. Some scenes were directed over video calls because they couldn't afford the expense of having the director on-set. Different locations were the same locations shot from different directions. But despite it all, you'd never know it while watching the film.

It has me wondering how many other wonderful movies are out there that I don't know about.

Thousands, probably.

Categories: Movies 2024Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 837

Posted on Sunday, January 7th, 2024

Dave!The sun is shining, there's no snow on the ground, and apparently Winter is over, but I'm trying not to think about a possible drought come Summer... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Portraiture! Auguste Toulmouche was a wonderful artist who is most well known for his portraits of fancy Parisian women. What made his paintings so notable was the expressions he painted on their faces. The most famous likely being La Fiancée hésitante (The Hesitant Bride)...

A steely woman who's had enough of your shit being tended to by two women.

A closeup of the above.

But my favorite of his is Vanity...

A woman kissing herself in the mirror.

A closeup of the above.

This past week I was going through my art books and noticed something I hadn't before. There is a portrait of Auguste by another artist of the day, Jean-Louis Hamon...

Auguste Toulmouche By Hamon

After Googling for other images of the guy and not finding any, I realized something... this is likely the only record of what Auguste looked like. All articles about the guy show this same image. It's a rough painting, and yet captures a feeling in a way that a photograph never could. One of the many reasons I love art so much. Here's a self-portrait of Hamon...

Jean-Louis Hamon By Hamon

Amazing artist. I would kill to be able to paint hair like that.

   
• Méndez! I wrote a whole post over my love of the movie Half Brothers (which you can read here). I'm such a fan that I've been tracking down other works by the people in it. #1 on my list is Luis Gerardo Méndez. The guy's ability to emote what his character is feeling is jaw-dropping. He makes you feel every emotional beat of his character, and is a big reason why I love the film...

BUT ANYWAY... I was thrilled to learn that his latest project is on Paramount+ and is called Los Enviados. Except when I went to Paramount+ I couldn't find it. After a couple weeks, i.e. TODAY, I found out that it's there... you just can't search for its Spanish title. You have to search for The Envoys instead?? Weird, considering it's a Spanish language show. But anyway...

So, yeah. Most definitely checking this series out. The second season just dropped, so I'm assuming the first season must have been pretty great.

   
• Cameron Classics, Now On Digital! I love James Cameron movies. And two of my favorites are True Lies and The Abyss...

I bought them on both LaserDisc and DVD. My digital version were ripped from DVDs and hi-res broadcast because they've never been available to purchase on Digital (or Blu-Ray). Until now! And iTunes has both of them on sale for $9.99 each! So now I'm digital legal. As I endeavor to always be. The only time I'm not IS WHEN THEY DON'T MAKE THEM AVAILABLE FOR SALE!!!

   
• Rojas! Every time I rewatch Ted Lasso I find something new that I didn't know. Apparently, Danny Rojas is based on Mexican football star Javier Hernández. While reading up on Hernández, I ran across Diego Maradona, an Argentinian footballer who is rumored to also contribute to Danny's character. And THEN I found this old video of Maradona where he was warming up before a match. The song playing on the field in the background is Live is Life WHICH THEY PLAY AT THE END OF THE SECOND SEASON'S FIRST EPISODE! MIND. BLOWN. The epiode where Danny recovers from accidentally killing the team mascot. The people working on this show really know their football...

And SPEAKING of Ted Lasso... in the second episode Roy is walking out on the field with a young girl, which is most certainly his niece Phoebe. Except the actor isn't credited on IMDB and she doesn't actually appear in the story until the next episode, where Roy tells Ted about her when they visit the school with Trent Crimm (of The Independent). But if she was walking out with the team, wouldn't Ted have already met her and known who she was?

Roy walking out with Phoebe???

I must have watched the series a dozen times by now. And the earlier episodes even more. It got me through the horrors of the past three years, and it's pretty daunting knowing that there's no more coming to help me through 2024.

   
• Tidy! A friend posted a story about a mouse that tidys up a man's workbench every night. If there wasn't video evidence, you wouldn't believe it...

I wish my cats were this motivated. The whole incredible story is right here.

   
• Expenses! This truly is incredible...

And he really does do that...

Don't forget to be awesome. The guy in the videos is John Green. He wrote The Fault In Our Stars, a book I never read... but did enjoy the movie adaptation. He's a really great guy who has some very interesting thoughts. I love his YouTube channel so much, and recommend checking it out if you want to fall down a rabbit hole of awesome.

   
• Sigma Octantis! Just when I think I've seen all the flat earth idiocy that exists... along comes another one. Note at the top where the North Star (Polaris) is riiiiight up top...

The absurdly fucking stupid flat earth model.
I'd credit the artist... but I have no clue who that is

Polaris. POLARIS?!? Funny... according to this flat earth model dumbfuckery, you should be able to see Polaris from anywhere on earth. But any time I've traveled south of the equator, it was no longer visible. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Antarctica, Argentina, Fiji, Australia, Bali... no Polaris in sight. I checked! But do you want to know what's funny? Sigma Octantis (AKA The South Star) which is not visible in the northern hemisphere, is the star around which the night sky rotates when you are in the southern hemisphere. Almost as if the earth was a globe! Remarkable that! These flerfers really need to like... travel... and stuff. THE CONSTELLATIONS AREN'T EVEN THE FUCKING SAME! JESUS!!!

   
Really hoping we get some late snows so we have water this Summer.

   

The Marvelousness of Film

Posted on Tuesday, January 16th, 2024
The Marvels (which finally arrived on home video) is fun. Sure there were massive plot holes and moments of sheer stupidity... but overall it was a lot of fun and highly entertaining. Remember fun comic book films? And the ending(s) were a treat for long-time Marvel Studios and Marvel Comics fans. I liked it a HECK of a lot more than Ant Man & The Wasp: Quantumania. And I liked it better than Thor: Love & Thunder as well. And it wipes the floor with all the trash that DC has been unleashing on us, so there's that.

Worth a look if you're starved for something new to watch...

Several sections almost demand watching in slow motion because the swapping of powers and places creates some crazy-fast action.

   

Barbie, Ken, and a Song of Past Lives

Posted on Monday, January 22nd, 2024

Dave!Everybody is mentioning Barbie when it comes to the Oscar nomination announcement and, yeah, that's pretty fucked up what happened. But to me the most gross oversight is that Celina Song didn't get nominated for Best Director when it came to her Oscar-Nominated Best Picture Past Lives.

It's my opinion that this achingly beautiful film required more deft directorial skills to realize than any of the directors that got nominated. I mean... nothing to take away from any of them, because they've all got films they should be proud of... but the story of Past Lives is like a fragile teacup which required careful thought be put into every scene to avoid breaking it. The core of the story is with the actors, yes, but the choices that Song made feel vastly more critical to making the movie what it is.

Eli Celina Song Photo.

A part of me thinks that there was only room for one woman in the nominees, and it wasn't her.

Oh well. I'd really like to see it win Best Picture.

In any event, I am very much looking forward to whatever she does next. Every frame of Past Lives is art, and this is only her first movie!

When it comes to Barbie, Greta Gerwig did get a nod for her (adapted??) screenplay, which seems a more fitting nomination than director, in my humble opinion. But wrapping my head around how Ryan Gosling got nominated but Margot Robbie did not is impossible. I get why people are baffled. I am too. I may not have been utterly entranced by the film as so many have, but I can say 100% that if Ken was deemed Oscar-worthy, then Barbie should be as well. Robbie's performance and commitment was not in any way short.

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Categories: Movies 2024Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 842

Posted on Sunday, February 11th, 2024

Dave!I'm scrubbing up after seven months of having my shower doors collecting dust in my hallway, but now that they're moved, I can move on... and blog... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Make Mine Marvel! I fully expected to get a Deadpool 3 trailer at the Superb Owl. And though I'm not watching the game, I wasn't disappointed. Now titled Deadpool & Wolverine, it's absolutely everything I dreamed of...

This may very well be worth a trip to the theater.

   
• Yawn! I was wandering through the internet and saw a photo of some cats that immediately reminded me of the famous Pet Shop Boys album cover for actually...

Classic. The Instagram account didn't credit the creator of the photos, but a reverse image search pointed me to this Tumblr here. Hopefully that's the right place. Kinda frustrating when creators don't get credited for their work.

   
• DOON TOO! Um. Wow. Can't wait for the second half of Dune. The whole idea of riding a big worm through the desert is just so comical, but here Denis Villeneuve actually makes it look terrifying...

I've always been a fan of what David Lynch managed to do with his original film back in 1984, but this is phenomenal. If only Frank Herbert could see how his master work has been so beautifully adapted.

   
• Call Me... Charlie Baltimore! I love maps. This short video is on a subject I've read about many times... but this is a very clear way of illustrating The Baltimore Phenomenon...

Alice Springs was an interesting place to visit. I went so I could see Uluru (AKA "Ayer's Rock), and it feels very much like a place that's there just to service people doing exactly that.

   
• I'm Blue! Oh how I love science. The story of the development of the blue LED is fascinating...

The implications of sterilization LEDs is mind-boggling.

   
• Shorted! It's been a while since I've read Optic Nerve. But I was excited when I heard that Randall Park was adapting Shortcomings from the original comic. THEN I saw that it was to star Justin Min (he's Ben in The Umbrella Academy) and Ally Maki (who I fell in love with from Wrecked) and was all in...

It ended up being darn good. Kinda slice-of-life with some humor to it. And though I don't recall seeing Sherry Cola in anything, she is hilarious. All the actors are really good, but holy crap should Justin Min be tearing up Hollywood. Good looking with the bone structure of a god... and incredible talented to boot.

   
• Poppin'! TRADITIONAL GENDER ROLES ONLY APPLY TO WOMEN! MEN CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT! IT'S IN THE BIBLE, YOU CAN LOOK IT UP! Meanwhile... misogyny never looked so fabulous. That lip gloss and those frosted tips are poppin' on him! Way to find a look that's so glam on you, my brother in Christ! (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@speechprof

This has the same energy for me as Andre Tatertot saying that the tears running down his face when he feels sad isn’t crying.

♬ original sound - The Speech Prof

The lack of awareness is just next level here.

   
And now? Back to playing clean up.

   

Bullet Sunday 843

Posted on Sunday, February 18th, 2024

Dave!The snow has all melted, and ... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Mean It! It’s a beautiful song to begin with. But when LANY's lead singer comes in with that hook at 2:47... how do collaborations like this happen? It’s perfect...

Can't believe this track is off Lauv's debut album.

   
• Winner! (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@jamieandblake Keep them guessing 😅 #funny #viral #fyp ♬ original sound - Jamie and Blake

I hope he at least didn't have to pay.

   
• Patagonia! I don't have very many regrets in life. But the few I do usually revolve around missed opportunities when it comes to travel. Not having been to India yet is something that I very much regret, for example. But bigger regrets are having gone places but not having enough time to see and experience more of the area. My photo expedition to Antarctica was incredible. A true bucket-list-worthy item that I will remember forever. And yet... I sure wish I would have had more time so I could visit Patagonia. But I had new kittens back home that I worried about. A mom in a memory care facility that I worried about even more. And two weeks away was already more than I could take (or afford).

   
• Streaming Services Are Shit! Cutting cable/satellite was one of the happiest things I ever did. I fucking HATED having to buy bundles that included channels I would never watch and commercials I was forced to suffer through on top of the huge monthly bill. Streaming allowed me to pay for exactly what I wanted to watch and was ad-free. Then, fast-forward to today, and we're back to bundles and fucking ads (unless you pay an absurd amount of money to get rid of them. Not only that, but the amount of content you get is shit too. Which brings us to this...

God. It's so bad that I'm to the point where I subscribe to one service ad-free each month, cancel it, then move on to the next ad-free service. And I know I'm not alone. It used to be that I cared about supporting services that produced content I wanted to watch by subscribing every month. Now I don't give a shit. Fuck 'em. I will pay when there's something they have that I want to watch. For the rest, I pay for YouTube Premium, which is ad-free and has endless content. That's enough.

   
• Marvel! Today I watched Assembled: The Making of The Marvels and am sad all over again that the movie underperformed. I love Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. Her first movie was SO good. Her part in Avengers: Endgame was flawless. And while there were some serious problems with The Marvels, it was still very entertaining. I loved the power-switching concept that drove it. — I want to see Captain Marvel again. I need more Carol Danvers. I hope that Marvel Studios brings her back somehow. And Photon. Teyonah Parris is a frickin' gift. How awesome would it be to get a limited series which explores her light powers in a cool and interesting way. And of course Ms. Marvel. I didn't particularly care for her limited series, but she was absolute gold in The Marvels. That Iman Vellani could capture the wonder of what her character was experiencing so perfectly is the heart of the entire film...

But my favorite part of the documentary was Laura "LOOK AT ME, I'M WACKY" Karpman on sound design. Makes me want to re-watch the movie just to have a better appreciation for her work on it. And of course I thought the special effects were glorious. =sigh= I am so bummed that super-hero movies are imploding. I love love loved having so much content and watched it all. I would love to have a new Marvel movie every month. Like the comics. But now it's all being scaled back, and there's really nothing out there to replace it for me. I waited so long for something like the MCU to happen. I don't want it to end.

   
• Housed! It is so weird having spent a month watching every episode of House and now it’s over. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that there are no more episodes to watch. But anyway… the final season was a bit of a mess, but I loved the show. Ten thoughts… 1) I think it’s probably a good thing that the show didn’t have a ninth season. They did everything, and it was time. There’s only so many times you can say “sarcoidosis.” 2) That being said, I want a spin-off with Chi Park. I love her character and want more. Even though they didn’t know what to do with her, and came up with the idiotic Chase love scenario. 3) I missed Cameron after she left. But Cuddy was the one that I cannot believe wasn’t there for the last season… and the way they got rid of her was insulting and stupid. 4) Robert Sean Leonard better have gotten an award for playing Wilson, because damn. 5) I think that Omar Epps probably didn’t get enough credit for his role. He was memorable despite his character being buried most of the time. 6) While I loved Taub when he was in doctor mode, they spent WAY too much time on his stupid personal life. 7) Thirteen was my favorite character. Partly because they made her so interesting, but mostly because Olivia Wilde played her so beautifully. 8] The saddest moment to me was Kutner, not Wilson, because Kutner was all reactions by the characters, and we will never know what he was feeling. 9) I would have liked to get more of the detective guy, Lucas. He was just so… together… and I love that they didn’t feel the need to make him a mess like everybody else. 10) I really do think that the writers backed themselves into a corner with Greg House. It’s like they felt him being a mess was his only quality, and he never really gave him the opportunity to be anything else (even when he was with Cuddy). Fortunately, Hugh Laurie was just so GOOD in the role that it didn’t matter. He made the character fascinating to watch no matter how much the writers were intent on sabotaging him. — BUT ANYWAY... A really good show that I’m kinda sad I didn’t watch as it was airing, because that way it probably wouldn’t have seemed as repetitive with the medical diagnosis jargon. GRADE: A- (though the final season was probably more of a C+).

   
Until next Sunday then.

   

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