Actor Spotlight

Actor spotlight, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson with their new HBO series that has everyone of ages talking about “True Detective” a crime drama that started this year directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Who I have heard of from because he wrote and directed “Sin Nombre” which was shown at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and won many awards.

I know I normally post a review on movies but I just wanted to take a moment to highlight the talent and devotion to these two great hollywood actors who have continued to shine in the spotlight since their appearances on their first films. It has been the kick lately for movie actors to be starring in TV shows like Kevin Bacon and “The Following”  have been season hits and continue to air more and more seasons. “True Detective” is one of the best crime dramas I have seen on TV. Plus is on HBO so there is no holding back the violence, language, and all the other good stuff that cable TV edits or skips out.

The show is based on two detectives in Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division, who are homicide detectives who are trying to solve the deepen mystery and loose serial killer that has everyone up in arms. With it having a woven timeline throughout the show we view 8 years in the past and then 8 years in the future which is hard to figure out thats what is happening
because the first two episodes are so mystical themselves that it leaves viewers to put together the pieces and try to solve it themselves. Later on its clear about the time lapse throughout the show. Emotions, death, sex, guns, alcohol, drugs, police, churches, corpses, are just some of the things you are part in front of in this show.

After Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson have been in this series I just have that much more respect for them, with how diverse and different they can each play with each role. You find yourself like yelling at the TV due to their actions in the show. McConaughey plays the perfect character as does Harrelson, I never thought I’d see them as police officers but they make it seem so natural like they really are detectives.

The season however is only 8 episodes long and last weeks was episode 6 so you may want to try and catch up before its over ! You can find it sundays at 9pm on HBO which yes sorry it is during the AMC’s “Walking Dead” but you can always view it after when it reruns at 11 on HBO or if you have the HBO GO app you can view it minutes after its aired ! Thanks again and please take a minute to vote !! For those of you who watch the show should for sure have a answer! Every vote counts!

Thanks ! — J.T.

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You’re Next

Ahhhh the infamous masked lamb and lion jumpsuit wearing men who stalk the perfect family on their getaway weekend lake house. “You’re Next” is a 2011 horror film directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett. I have never really heard of Adam Wingard but I have watched the movies “V/H/S” and “V/H/S 2” which Simon Barrett has written both of them which I thought were pretty good for not being really advertised big besides seeing it on ONDemand and Netflix. The film was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011 and then released in the United States in the summer of 2013 making way over then what the film cost to make.

However on to the movie, “You’re Next” was very good in my opinion, I had heard mixed reviews about the movie but I really like horror movies so it was a thrill for me. I even jumped a couple of times. The whole lamb and lion mask were very intimidating through out the movie, popping out of no where with the darkness and the music all combining it will have you on the edge of your seat.

The Davison family is at their weekend house to celebrate there mother and fathers anniversary with all their children which was a huge family and they all ranged from 25 to 40 years old and all had a girlfriend and wife with them for the dinner. It seems like the movie was kind of going to start out slow but they all sit down at the table to begin what looks like a great dinner with wine and fine food and great cheer. As like every family dinner there could be some tension or arguments which there was, a argument between the two brothers at the table. Meanwhile the sister’s boyfriend who was her guest gets up and walks towards the window because he sees something outside that catches his eye………

BOOOOOOM, arrow shot from the outside through the window and straight into his head…… DEAD. And it is all down hill from there, everyone is in a panic and flustered (who wouldn’t be?). Then more arrows are shot through the windows of the dining room which made me think hmmm is this gonna be like a spin off of “The Purge” with a bunch of people invading the home to kill but I was wrong. Two men which eventually we find out had been living in the house weeks prior to this happening which had me thinking something was up with what was happening. It just was not sitting right. The cast is no one I have heard of before but did a stellar job and great performance through out the whole film. I don’t want to say more without giving it away, there are plenty of twist and turns that will have you guessing until the end. I mean the very end. Get out and see this one ! Thanks for reading ! Feel free to comment ! — J.T. !

SPELLBOUND- Everyone Wants the Last Word

“Spellbound” a documentary released in 2002 that follows the lives of 8 kids who are all competing to be number one in the 1999 Scripps National Spelling Bee, directed by Jeffery Blitz who you may know who is the director of ” The Office”. With that said it is just like that same Office humor, with direct interviews and counter interviews still telling a story that seems to be woven but is in order and super funny. I mean I was in tears laughing at this film, the eight kids are so funny but yet it also follows their at home life with parents and family and that is just to die for. It will have you rolling on the ground so hard at some of the stuff that is all natural happening during this film.

You have to one like documentaries and love this awkward interview type set up that is through out the whole film. Each kid has their own special attribute they bring to the table, it could be their personality or the study tactic they may use in order to be the best at spelling. My favorite speller had to Harry Altman who is just so hard to explain with one word. He will have you laughing the whole time. The film opens up with him at the end of the Spelling Bee where he was eliminated for spelling “Banns” wrong. Its funny because most of the kids have been in bees before so they have lost and they never ever forget the word they misspelled that knocked them out of a chance at gold and glory.

The film like I said is a bit aged (2002) and set in 1997-1999 so please keep that in mind but it almost adds to the humor of the characters as well. You can find it on DVD, Netflix, Hulu, or even a full version on Youtube. Please watch and comment ! Thanks ! — J.T.

Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels

“Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels” one of director Guy Ritchie’s best known films, along with others like “Snatch”, “Revolver” and the Sherlock Holmes movies! Now you need to know that Guy Ritchie has one of the most unique and different styles of filming that you have the pleasure of viewing. Very different camera angles, like from the floor up, or maybe high up from a corner of a room, or the most awkward one being where a actor will say his line and look directly at the camera like they know your looking at them.

Four blokes all round up 100,000 pounds to put it all on the line of a underground poker game that requires a 100,000 pound buy in, to play this man name Harry “the Hatchet” many men go broke or end up in life long debt to this harry and porn store owner. The four buddies (Soap, Bacon, Tom, and Eddy) think with Eddy’s poker skills they have what it takes to risk it all on one game for a investment of a lifetime. Sounds to good to be true right? Well it is not as easy as they think. With game being rigged that no one ever finds out about, Eddy loses, four times what he came with, so he entered with +100,000 and left with -500,000 in debt which he has a week to repay or he has to answer to harry who puts all four men at responsible for the loss.

The men are at a loss for words when Eddy comes back to the pub to deliver the “good news”, Eddy was in almost in a state of shock, and that is when the men realized they have one week to come up with 500,000 pounds. And that’s when the rip offs begin and the non stop action and bullets flying, with bodies dropping. If you like action and comedy then you need to see this film, it came out in 1998 so you can get it on Netflix, or DVD and also OnDemand. If I say anymore I’ll give away the film! Please see this and tell me what you think !! Feel free to comment ! Thanks ! — J.T.

Adore.

“Adore” is a Australian-French drama film that was shown at the 2013 Sundance Movie Festival under the title of “Two Mothers”. Directed by Anne Fontaine the film was actually based on a British novel written by Doris Lessing called “The Grandmothers”. Which is the cool thing about independent films that enter these festivals because they always having multiple titles before its all said and done due to what the production company wants to call it after they bought the rights to the film. Lets just say this film was very different and kind of takes you on a wild ride that makes you feel weird but its a true story of love that I don’t believe will ever die.

I watched the movie last night on Netflix in the drama section, and drama is right, I mean a lot of ups and plenty of downs with this film. Two women who are childhood friends and live right down from the road from each other in the town they grew up in (Naomi Watts and Robin Wright). Who both end up having boys at the same time who grow up just like them as lifelong buddies. Naomi Watts ends up losing her husband when her son is about 6 or 7 and she never really tries to find love again…..

Years go by and now the boys are teenagers bout 20 or 21 and they are still just as close as they used to be. One night after dinner, Ian (Watts son) helps his friend Tom to bed after they had drank too much at dinner with there moms. Naomi Watts leaves and goes home, Tom falls asleep, but not Ian or Roz (Wright). Ian goes into the kitchen where he finds Roz and that’s where it all begins. Out of no where they start making out and the sexual tensions are very evident, which leads to thim having sex. Tom discovers that his mom and best friend are having sex, so what does he do ? He goes to Ian’s house to tell Lil (Watts) about the affair. That leads to them having sex….

Roz and Lil confront each other about the situation and they both agree this must stop, well that does not go as planned as all four of them find themselves in love with each others moms and sons. I know how this sounds and trust me I did think twice before watching but in the end it is all about the love, no matter the age, the wrinkles, or what people thought. They knew hoe they felt about each other. Its a great drama and way more to watch and find out ! So get on Netflix and find this bad boy ! Thanks and have a good one ! — J.T.

The Beach …. a hit or a miss? You decide

The Beach was actually based off a novel that came out in 1996 (movie released in 2000 directed by Danny Boyle) that was called the same title. I found this movie just surfing and shuffling through movies on netflix to watch when, I came across it I knew I had not seen this film yet. I saw it had Leonardo DiCaprio in it and he is one of my favorite actors so I gave it a chance. And boy did I not make a mistake with this pick. Its full of adventure, travel, action, and drama. I had me hooked as soon as it started. Very unique music and soundtrack and the whole idea and basis of the film is great. Richard (DiCaprio) is a student from the US who is abroad in Southeast Asia, traveling to Thailand with only the goal of doing something life changing and out of his comfort zone. He meets this crazy dude in a over night bed and breakfast type place who is going on and on while getting high and talking to DiCaprio (all through a vent that is wide open connecting the two rooms they are staying in) about this mystical and unreal place, a island, a paradise. The next morning DiCaprio goes to him for more information but finds him brutally murdered/ dead but yet has left a map he drew out by hand for DiCaprio to use to find this “beach”. He heads to the gulf of Thailand to start his voyage of a lifetime.

He ends up bringing along another couple and actually do make it to this beach that is covered with weed and men with ak-47’s……..

Without giving to much away I’d like you to view the film for yourself and tell me your feedback and reactions to this film. Some say they know it like the back of their hand and others have never even heard of the film. It’s a great movie that anyone with joys and dreams of adventure and traveling will fall in love with. It really makes you think what else is out there?? With that said please check out the film and let me know what you think. Make sure to vote on the poll !! Thanks !– J.T.

Zombie Nation

ZOMBIE, a word used a lot now a days more so then ever before I feel. I love the whole “zombie theory” and that the world will end with the dead rising and all. It’s funny and its a fantasy completely constructed from Hollywood films from over the years. And as the years go the these zombie movies always offer a new trait or skill that the zombie adapts. It never gets old and it is what keeps the cycle going and the zombies living (on the big screens, not real life).

“World War Z” directed by Marc Foster is by far one of the best zombie movies I’ve seen in awhile and also had my favorite zombies. This was the biggest spent zombie film to be made in history, costing $179 million to produce it was either going to be the biggest hit or the biggest miss. Making well over its set budget its safe to say it was a huge hit in the US and the UK. It ended up taking the viewers on a roller coaster ride of emotions and has you strapped for action about 5 minutes into the film and holds that pace for most of the film. Action packed and zombie filled this movie makes the zombies very intense and very different from your just mindless walking around flesh eating slow monsters. These zombies are super fast and use each other to make huge walls of each other to take over buildings or go over walls and even take down helicopters (spoiler alert). The movie has been out now in theaters over the summer and has hit DVD and Blu Ray, for any zombie fans this is a must see and even just action adventure fans.

Also Brad Pitt is in the film so I mean come on it has to be great. But really its a great cast and great director who can really put together a great movie but also one that is a well known topic but just a whole different twist which is where I found what I like the most. It was zombie related but not your classic same cast, same situation, same ending. This film is totally different and I hope you have a chance to see it. Thanks and have a good one. — J.T.

Indie Spotlight – The Kings of Summer

I had the pleasure of seeing this film about a week ago just sitting around the house bored. The description giving on ONDemand do not do this film a justice. It was a true heart felt good comedy that can be watched more then once and still find yourself laughing the whole time. It was a great movie to watch with my family and everyone was able to take something different away from the film. “The Kings of Summer” is a American made independent film released first at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and then eventually gaining release in the US in May 2013 that was selected and limited to where it was shown in theaters, hence why I saw it on ONDemand.

The movie is about a teenage boy named Joe who is just had enough of his dad (who is newly single from a death of his wife/ mother) trying to control and make him live a certain life because he is still at home while his sister on the other hand is away at college. Joe has a best friend Patrick who is having the same issues with his parents who are just plain weird and very funny. So they are both looking for this escape to their very own paradise, a chance to just live on their own and escape their parents rule and be free for once.

The two boys set off with another character who somehow ends up with them and is just one of the most funny parts of the whole movie who’s name is Biaggio. The three boys set off into the woods to build what they end up calling home for the summer. A man made, self sufficient, sustainable house/hut/man-cave in the middle of the woods with the wild. They end going “missing” while on this youthful and charming loving adventure that teaches everyone a lesson in the end. You must see this film, I don’t want to give to much away, this is a A+ movie and great to see independent films getting attention and holding value as this one did.

A must see with family or loved one or simply by yourself, its a great independent comedy that will have you laughing and in a great mood after. Look forward to a posting of the trailer on my Twitter @jtlandon5749. Thanks and have a good one ! — J.T.

AMERICAN HUSTLE VS. WOLF OF WALL STREET

After going to see both films, “American Hustle” and “Wolf of Wall Street”, I must say well done and caps off to both films.

The Wolf of Wall Street directed by Martin Scorsese is about the life of Jordan Belfort who was a New York stock broker who runs a firm based on corruption. From what the movie tells, back in the 1990’s, penny stocks that would be sold to blue collar people that would never really see the money for awhile. However on the other hand the stock broker who sold the stock would get 50% commission on each sale. Meaning…. Cha Cha Chinggggg ! $$. They were making straight cake everyday selling these stocks. Jordan Belfort becoming a millionaire in a matter of months having anything he wanted at anytime. Which led to massive drug and alcohol abuse, million dollar yachts, lambos, country clubs, mansions, trips to Europe, Belfort had no limits. Even as the FBI investigated him and eventually took him down. What made the movie was the all star cast featuring Leonardo DiCaprio , Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey and more. It was a long movie running over 3 hours but trust me it keeps you wide awake the whole time and has you all hyped up by the end.

American Hustle….. for sure not exactly what I thought it was going to be after seeing all the commercials and previews and the build up, it was so slow. Well slow to me at least, compared to seeing Wolf of Wall Street just 3 days before, I was going into thinking it would have even more action and less partying but it actually had no partying and no action, the only real arrest happens towards the start of the movie. Directed by David O. Russell the film is actually based off of a FBI scam investigation in the 1970’s and 1980’s where two con men [who are played by Christian Bale (Con) and Bradley Cooper(FBI agent) ] are ordered by FBI to set up a operation on corrupt politicians which one of the corrupt being the mayor of Camden New Jersey (played by Jeremy Renner). It was once again a A plus cast and a great film never the less. It has won many awards since being in theaters.

I highly suggest you try and see both films while still showing in theaters near by or wait until they hit the dvd and netflix. Check out my twitter for previews of both films ! Thanks ! — JT