Dallas Buyers Club – Film Review

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I had heard high praised for Dallas Buyers Club before it was released to the public and remained a little skeptical. Small bit of information before I begin my review; my uncle died of AIDS nearly eight years ago and saw his final days. The gruesome, depressing depletion of a human being dying of a deadly disease. This made me apprehensive about seeing a film that I knew would strike home, but I don’t regret a single second of the film.

mmc-dallasDallas Buyers Club opened up and introduced a very narrow minded Ron Woodruff. It was shocking to see a very thin and almost unrecognizable Matthew McConaughey. Seeing it in previews and photos was nothing compared to seeing him in action. His descent into the reality of facing HIV/AIDS was raw and powerful.  His co-workers and so-called friends segregated because of the fear of the disease with little being known about it at the time.  Research on the disease and treatment were still ongoing with testings of heavy doses of AZT.

The judgment upon Woodruff was impressed because by reputation AIDS/HIV was only spread among homosexuals and drug addicts. He goes into the world of drugs briefly to escape the reality of his disease. Woodruff submerges himself into the research of alternate methods for AZT when he is denied when wanting to join in the test subjects for AZT. He discovers the HIV/AIDS virus is also transmitted through unprotected sex and is the root of his disease.

dallas-buyers-club-jared-leto.Along the way he meets the eccentric and genuinely sweet transgender Rayon. At this point Woodruff is extremely homophobic. Rayon is portrayed by Jared Leto, starved to the bone for the role, and nearly unrecognizable. Rayon is not innocent by any means  – drug addicted and dying of AIDS/HIV. Despite it all, Rayon is the shining beacon of light. The humour and the heart of it all. If Rayon had been portrayed by anyone else, it would have been injustice. She makes Woodruff look past his homophobia and make him look at things in a new light.

The most heartbreaking scene was between Rayon and her father. Then the speech in front of the mirror. It all struck me harder due to my own experiences and seeing someone personally dying of AIDS. The breakdown of everyone after Rayon’s downfall was powerful. It struck harder than I’d expected. She changes Woodruff in unexpected ways.

1401543_740651205949095_907638579_oIn short, this is a beautifully made film that makes one think. It makes you think about what you choose to bring into your own body and the effects it has on you. It makes you want to review the history of AIDS/HIV and the strives it has made.

 

It is eyeopening and brilliant. It really made me think. In fact, I am seeing it again within the next week.

I give this film five stars out of five.

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This film is currently in limited showings. I happened to be lucky enough to view it in Dallas, Texas of all places.

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Rated R for language, adult content, drug use and nudity.

Man of Steel: Film Review

MOS02When a close friend of mine said that the new Superman film was actually good, I found myself a little floored. This came from one of the pickiest people I have come across. I didn’t bother w/ asking him what he thought of the original films, since I could easily gauge what his reaction might be.  With this being said, I set out to see the film w/in the next few weeks + eventually went w/ my youngest sister.

I grew up watching the original films thanks to my mum + as campy as the might seem now, I still love them. They’re truly in their own field + era. Then again, I’m a little strange + actually enjoy the original Clash of the Titans to this day.

Previous endeavors on the Superman franchise left me disheartened + I’ll admit I didn’t even bother w/ the ones beyond the originals. I took one look at the trailers + decided to not waste my time. It turned out I was right to. I was very surprised that I completely, thoroughly enjoyed Man of Steel.

MOSlaneAmy Adams went onto an late night show to talk about the new Superman film + I rolled my eyes, as this was before my friend encouraged me to see it. I absolutely adore Amy Adams, but I couldn’t quite see her in the role of Lois Lane. It wasn’t even that I was ever into Lois + Clark or Smallville either. She was surprisingly one of the best things about the film. Lois Lane was suddenly brave, daring + adventurous. She playing the damsel in distress. I only saw her fall from the sky once, only to be rescued, but she wasn’t crying out for Clark Kent/Superman. She is by far the most impressively written + acted Lois Lane I have ever seen. The romance wasn’t overkill either. You could see the bonding, the restraint + there wasn’t even a single kiss up until the end.

My sister + I walked into the movie theater not knowing who had produced the film or the actors/actresses involved w/ it; Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Laurence Fishburne + Russel Crowe. I was very very pleased w/ the casting in the film. It was like a dream cast. I felt the emotions eluding from Costner + Lane, it was beyond words. I hadn’t seen a better set of parents for Clark Kent or the impact both had on him in any of the previous films.

henry cavillHenry Cavill did an amazing job as Clark Kent/Superman. I was surprised to find myself pleased w/ him being selected as the main role. Perfect.

Overall, the film was amazing + only one thing was overdone. I have a love for action movies, but the final action scene dragged out for far too long. It was fine going on for two to three minutes, though when it stretched out for longer, both my sister + I were rolling our eyes. Will I see the next film in the series?

YES! Five stars, amazing cast, well written + no complaints aside from the overdone final action scene. Highly recommended.

VEEP: Season 1 (Review)

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I have been a long time fan of Julia Louis-Dryfus. My mum introduced me to her in the 90’s as Elaine in Seinfeld and we watched the episodes religiously to the very end of the series. The New Adventures of Old Christine was introduced in two whole seasons as a Christmas gift. I loved it so much, beyond words and Wanda Sykes was an amazing addition to the cast. I still only have the first and second season, but want the following seasons and still sad the series ended. I was so pleased when Louis-Dryfus was nominated and winning for her new series on HBO called VEEP. Only recently did I get the pleasure of finally seeing VEEP.

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VEEP falls into the category of awkward mockumentary and basically and R-rated version of The West Wing. I am not usually a fan of this category at all. I tried to get into The Office and found I preferred the UK version, despite the American version giving the boss some leeway of some sort because of his sheer stupidity. Arrested Development was an amazing exception, introduced to me by an old friend. Couldn’t get into Parks and Recreation either. I find that the older I get, the pickier I become with my selections.

veep-anna-chlumsky-1Anna Chlumsky is in the prime roles of the series. I was so happy to see her in a role where she can finally stand out as I’ve been a fan since I was young. I loved her in My Girl + My Girl 2. I never did get to see what she grew up to be, but discovered her acting skills have only grown infinitely and she portrays the role of Amy in VEEP superbly. Her character is thrown under the bus countless times and takes the rap for Selina’s misguided messes. She genuinely loves her job and hangs onto it for dear life. In the end of the first season, she takes a huge bomb for the vice president and without blinking twice.

veep_castIt is incredibly cast with another familiar face in the awkward documentary style series by tying Tony Hale onto the cast as Gary. I became familiar with him through Arrested Development as Buster Bluth. He sincerely cares for the vice president and waits for her as though it’s a religion. He is also the ultimate punching bag.

julia-louis-dreyful-veep-episodic-hbo-325The vice president fumbles for clarity and to accomplish something worthwhile. Selina Meyer is self-absorbed as the vice president of the United States of America. She definitely falls over her own feet many times, shoves her foot in her mouth so many times I manage to lose count and manages to land on her feet somehow. It is a wonder that she survives.

I mostly want to beat up Jonah Ryan, also am serious repulsed by him. Which means they accomplished exactly what they intended. It doesn’t help that he reminds me of a relative of mine that seriously bugs me and is of the same height.

I am dying for the second season that begins this month.

Okay kittens, time to get drowned.”
– Selina Meyer (VEEP: S1: E7)

My name is Kris Freestone and I approve of this AD.

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Book Review: Life is a Bowl Full of Cherries

cover17165-mediumLife is a Bowl Full of Cherries
Written by Vanita Oelschlager
Illustrated by Robin Hegan
20 Pages

SYNOPSIS
Life is a Bowl Full of Cherries show children the magic of idioms – words that separately have one meaning, but together take on something entirely different.

Children are curious about words, especially phrases that make them laugh (“Couch potato!”), sound silly (“Eat your words”) or trigger images that tickle a child’s sense of the absurd (“Pie in the sky”).

Life is a Bowl Full of Cherries uses outlandish illustrations of what the words describe literally. The reader then has to guess the “real” meaning of the phrases (which is upside down in the corner of each spread). At the end of the book, the reader is invited to learn more about these figures of speech.

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Life is a Bowl Full of Cherries is a very cute and charming book of poetic idioms. I read this out loud to my sister and four-month-old niece. Although my niece was far too young to grasp the concepts of it, her eyes were glued to the funny and vivid illustrations. I even learned a few idioms I never knew about. Flipping the book over or looking upside down there was a little explanation of the idiom and contained an example sentence. I thought it was a really nice touch.

It was a sweet, funny and informative book for children who love to constantly ask questions. The length is perfect to read to a child before bed. One of the final pages of the book explains what an idiom is also. I would not mind having a copy of this in hardcover.

Bates Motel: On the Fence…

Bates Motel
Season 1
Episode 1
Rating: * * * *

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I did have great hopes for this series simply from the previews. I knew walking in that it was a cast filled with people I was completely unfamiliar with, but I kept an open mind. The show is perfectly cast with the beautiful and talented Vera Farminga as Norma Bates in tow with Freddie Highmore in the role for Norman Bates. I must admit that I’d been waiting a few months for the show to debut, but felt a bit lacked. It should be kept in mind that I’m a fiend for Alfred Hitchcock and other classics.

It was a mean tease to see a Cary Grant movie playing during the opening scene because it made me hopeful about it being set in the same time period as the original. I was quickly deflated upon seeing a pair of small earbuds in Norman’s ears a little bit later. It was also a bit too unrealistic to have the group of teenage girls swooning over Norman from the get go and taking him into their convertible.

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With those minor annoyances, Bates Motel still proves to be worth a try, because the show has far more good factors.

Seeing how serial killers evolved is something I’ve always enjoyed seeing. It’s like seeing the anatomy of a tragic disaster. I love seeing the darker side of things and how it comes to pass. Maybe it’s the morbid side of me, but apparently others have this deep fascination. His mother has the darkest streak with a massive control issue and uses reverse psychology to sway Norman her way.

48168513_b0017f1687The house remains the same in style and I’m really happy about it. I won’t detail much on the show to keep from giving others spoilers.

It is definitely worth at least attempt and I’m hoping the second episode keeps up the same intensity displayed in the first episode. So count me in as having not selected whether or not it will continue to be as good at the first episode. Consider me on the fence.