Movie Pictionary! #3

June 18, 2015

A few of my friends and I have a new hobby, playing Movie Pictionary through Google Hangouts. As if Pictionary wasn’t fun enough, having it movie-themed makes it a lot more fun. Plus the added difficulty of drawing on a small area with your computer mouse, or touch pad, results in some really bad doodles. But that just makes the guessing even better! So I figure that I should let you into some of our drawings and the comments we made while guessing. For anyone who wants to play along, I’ll leave all the answers at the bottom of the post. Enjoy!

draw-homealone

Rob: Fantasia?
Chris: Negative.
Mike: It could either be a football field, or a rack of ribs.
Rob: I saw steps and a bucket of water.
Chris: Exactly!

draw-jurassicpark

Rob: Is that a toilet bowl?
Chris: Mike, if that’s ******** I’m going to flip out!
Mike: It is!
Chris: I thought of drawing the exact same thing!
Rob: How is a toilet bowl the drawing for ********?!
Chris: I even did a test run and decided that no one would ever guess it.
Mike: Hahahaha
Chris: That’s the only reason why I got it lol.
Mike: It was not easy to draw.

draw-independenceday

Rob: I have no idea what I’m looking at here.
Mike: Once you get it, you will totally see it.
Chris: Hmmm. Yeah I’m lost. Is the red a fence? And people are storming it?
Rob: I think it’s fire.
Rob: Is it ********?
Mike: Yes! Come on, that’s not half bad.
Chris: I definitely see it now that it’s revealed.

Answers: Home Alone, Jurassic Park, Independence Day.


Game of Thrones – “Mother’s Mercy”

June 15, 2015

Season Five, Episode Ten

game-of-thrones-mothers-mercy

Grade: A

Pardon my language, but at the conclusion of the season five finale, the only words that I could put together to make some kind of sentence was: What the fucking fuck?

Okay, I think it’s out of my system for now. Let me start with the conclusion of the season five finale. Jon Snow has just been stabbed six times by his fellow crows, and he falls on his back as the blood pours out of his body, turning the white snow into a dark red mess. I just kept waiting and waiting for there to be a sign of hope that maybe this was all a dream. Or maybe he wasn’t about to take his last breath. But it didn’t seem like there was anything or anyone who could save him from those final moments. As the viewer, I really thought this would never happen. Sure, GoT has time and time again kicked me in the ass for expecting a major character to live a long and eventful life, but come on! This is Jon Snow! He’s been the voice of reason, the underdog among competitors, the sad misfit who’s been kicked around by everyone, and somehow throughout all of these seasons he has faced adversity and continued to conquer every obstacle thrown his way. So it’s no exaggeration that the entire GoT fan-base was in awe.

I haven’t read a single line from any of the books, but I understand from friends who have that this was where the latest book ended. So now the show and the novels are (somewhat) caught up with each other. In my opinion, that’s very exciting for the TV-viewers but disappointing for the novel-readers. But at least we can all band together and admit that this is a crucial loss, unless it isn’t! I’m sorry, but I still cannot accept that Jon Snow is gone forever. Maybe he does die, but there are elements of the show that suggests GoT has the capability to turn to magic. It took a while, but Frankenstein Mountain is alive and kicking again. And I doubt it’s coincidence that Melisandre roams into the crow camp right before he dies. While I’ve never been a fan of the Lord of Light story, it’s clear there is some real magic there. And it’s obvious that Stannis was the wrong leader to follow. Will the Lord of Light have anything to do with Snow’s possible resurrection?

As for Stannis, season five really dealt a lot with him, just to have him killed off at the end of a failed attempt to take Winterfell. I was really rooting him on up to the point where he chose to burn his daughter alive (oh how those screams still keep me up at night). But what happens here is slightly vague. Brienne steps out at the end of the battle and swings her sword at Stannis, but it’s never shown that he dies. That could mean she didn’t kill him after all, but I do honestly believe he’s dead. The last time I wanted to believe someone wasn’t dead because GoT didn’t show it immediately was Ned Stark.

So Stannis is done. Jon Snow is very likely dead. That means the Boltons have defended Winterfell and Ramsay will continue being the jackass he is. But as expected, Theon assists Sansa to try and escape. Unfortunately, this involves the bright idea to jump off the freaking wall. Are we supposed to assume that Sansa is going to survive that fall?! That would require a huge leap of faith, one that I don’t even think Sansa had when she decided to jump. But once again, we don’t see her land so we don’t know what happens. It’s just that this cannot be the last we see of Sansa. And if it is, this is definitely a weak way to go out.

Now let’s go over that extremely difficult-to-watch scene with Cersei walking through the streets to the Red Keep. If this doesn’t land Lena Headey any awards buzz then I don’t know what will. She displays such great control and ability during the scene, portraying a wide arrange of emotions until she’s finally able to let it all go when she reaches home. Cersei has never been a character who was liked, and even through this walk of shame I couldn’t feel bad for her. She has simply done too much to ever receive sympathy from me. But this is classic GoT here, taking a much-hated character and springing life into their story. It happens with Jaime Lannister, Theon, Stannis, etc. But I don’t believe one bit that Cersei has changed from all of this. She just did what she had to do to start planning how to destroy the Faith Militant.

Speaking of not able to let go, Arya finally finishes the deed of killing Meryn Trant. By doing so, she goes against everything that Jaqen H’ghar has been teaching her at the House of Black and White. And just as it seems he has killed himself, it’s all trickery. I don’t have much to really say about this story-line because there is too much unknown about the Faceless Men. I have no clue how it works and what is happening to Arya as she’s going blind, but all I know is that it has become one of the best plots in the fifth season. I’m excited to revisit Arya in the next season.

And then there is Daenerys, stranded in a far away place where Drogon is too lazy to bring her back home. I’m not sure where she thinks she was going, or how she could possibly be surprised by hundreds of Dothraki riders surrounding her in an open field, but her fate is left up in the air as well. One thing I am looking forward to for next season is the ruling of Meereen by the misfit team of Tyrion, Varys, Grey Worm, and Missandei. If there was a Big Brother After Dark series of them living together, I’d watch every second of that. Also we have our new odd-couple, road trip tandem with Jorah and Daario.

After all is said and done, we still have to return to Jon Snow. I love how GoT has felt so real at times in such a fantasy world, but that is definitely one of its strengths. But recently the role of magic is becoming greater than I anticipated. From the murdering shadow to the wildfire used at the Battle of the Blackwater; the Frankenstein Mountain to the powerful dragons; Bran’s ability as a Warg to Beric’s resurrection. There has been so much magic within GoT and I believe the sixth season will be the most magical yet. Hopefully Bran does come back so we can have answers about his prophecies, and hopefully Snow is able to come back through some kind of resurrection. I’m probably way off with this, but I really hope I’m somewhat right.

game-of-thrones-mothers-mercy2


Movie Pictionary #2

June 11, 2015

A few of my friends and I have a new hobby, playing Movie Pictionary through Google Hangouts. As if Pictionary wasn’t fun enough, having it movie-themed makes it a lot more fun. Plus the added difficulty of drawing on a small area with your computer mouse, or touch pad, results in some really bad doodles. But that just makes the guessing even better! So I figure that I should let you into some of our drawings and the comments we made while guessing. For anyone who wants to play along, I’ll leave all the answers at the bottom of the post. Enjoy!

draw-diehard2a

Mike: Con Air?
Chris: Solid guess. I’m glad you can tell it’s a plane lol
Mike: Liar Liar
Chris: Stop just naming movies with planes!
Rob: Did the plane drop something that’s exploding? Or is it dragging someone who combusted?
Chris: No no, the plane is exploding in the picture!
Mike: Snakes on a Plane?
Chris: I hate you.
Rob: Is the plane leaking fuel?

Then Chris edits his drawing:

draw-diehard2b

Chris: Edited!
Mike: Whoa! It’s a giant!
Chris: Perspective!
Rob: Who’s he talking to?
Chris: No one in particular.
Mike: I love this picture.
Rob: Is he trying to blow up the plane?
Chris: I don’t know how all of these questions haven’t triggered answer yet! It’s like you know the answer and it’s prompting these questions.
Mike: I am clueless.
Chris: Either that or I am COMPLETELY misremembering the scene… which is likely.
Rob: What movie does a plane blow up in?
Mike: Every movie ever.
Rob: Are we even sure that’s a plane? I’m having doubts.
Chris: Here’s another hint, the movie isn’t focused around planes. But yes, that IS a plane.
Mike: Fast and Furious 5 or 6.
Rob: I need another drawn clue.
Mike: The Avengers.
Chris: It’s literally the only scene I know from the movie lol.
Mike: Final Destination?
Rob: Is it accurate to say that the line is sparked and attached to the plane, and will soon explode.
Chris: Accurate! I swear, how are you asking these questions without knowing?! I feel like you’re messing with me!
Mike: Wait! I think I got it.

Answer: Die Hard 2.


Movie Pictionary!

June 4, 2015

A few of my friends and I have a new hobby, playing Movie Pictionary through Google Hangouts. As if Pictionary wasn’t fun enough, having it movie-themed makes it a lot more fun. Plus the added difficulty of drawing on a small area with your computer mouse, or touch pad, results in some really bad doodles. But that just makes the guessing even better! So I figure that I should let you into some of our drawings and the comments we made while guessing. For anyone who wants to play along, I’ll leave all the answers at the bottom of the post. Enjoy!

draw-seven
Chris: ******** was a total guess because I see a box. That’s about it.
Rob: It’s a bit tricky without quoting, “What’s in the box?!”
Mike: That could’ve totally been a man with a hat on a computer.

draw-40yearold
Rob: You look like a man-o-lantern.

draw-christmasvacation
Rob: Are those Stretch Armstrong arms? lol
Chris: I can’t see the little icon for the smallest drawing dot, which makes stuff like that look worse than it has to!

draw-this-is-spinal-tap
Mike: The drums, Stonehenge, singing movie.
Rob: Yup, that’s exactly correct. So do you know it?
Mike: I have no idea.

Answers: Se7en, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Christmas Vacation, This is Spinal Tap


Game of Thrones – “Hardhome”

June 2, 2015

Season Five, Episode Eight

game-of-thrones-hardhome

Grade: A

By this point, we’ve become aware of how GoT likes to progress. Its penultimate episode every season contains such memorable moments that as a viewer, the slow-burn throughout the first half of the season is tolerated with anticipation for the ending. And even though this wasn’t that far off from the penultimate episode, I’m sure we were as surprised as Jon Snow was when the white walkers stormed the wildlings camp. But let’s back up a little bit.

Leading up to this epic battle, Jon Snow along with Tormund entered Hardhome to try and convince them it’s in everyone’s best interest to team up against the walkers. It was going to be a tough sell, but as Tormund discovered himself, Snow is a very good leader and everything he says makes a lot of sense. But the wildlings are a stubborn group of people, led by the Lord of Bones who stops them in their tracks only a few meters from the dock. If there was any question that Tormund would back-stab Snow, it was squashed the moment he beat the Lord of Bones to death (this was a great, dark comic relief to get on with more important and urgent matters).

When Snow and Torumund meet with the elders to discuss the proposal, you can feel the tension building inside of the tent. The wildlings and crows have been sworn enemies for decades, and now Snow is asking for the two to fight side-by-side with each other. No one trusts each other and no one can forget the pain both have imposed, but when asked Tormund tells the wildlings that he is behind Snow on this matter. This divides the wildlings as only part of them board their ships and rafts to travel to the Wall while the rest stay behind. And this is when the fun begins.

game-of-thrones-hardhome2

Unlike the last few huge battle sequences (Blackwater and at the Wall), this comes out of nowhere. GoT wasn’t leading up to this epic event like it was with Stannis storming King’s Landing and the wildlings sprinting towards the Wall. This was a surprise assault on the wildlings by the white walker army, and boy was it intense! I don’t know if I can compare the battle of Hardhome to the others quite yet, but for starters it helped that this battle mainly centered on two characters: Snow and Tormund. It made the chaotic sequences a lot more focused, but gave me a feeling that neither of them would die. Nonetheless, the showdown between Snow and the white walker was great in all fronts. The action was great, plus we learn something new: Snow’s Valyrian steel sword not only withstood the walker’s strike, but it cut through the walker and shattered him into pieces. Go Snow!

All of this happens during the last 20 or so minutes of the episode, and while this was the most heart-pounding event all season long, that didn’t mean nothing else occured during “Hardhome.” For starters, we continue where last week left off with Jorah and Tyrion in front of Daenerys. The dialogue between Tyrion and Daenerys is everything I was hoping for. She boats her thick skin and cold stare at the Lannister, whom her family has always hated. Tyrion continues with his mildly sarcastic tone, but rich with logic and advice. He soon realizes that Varys was right, there is something about Daenerys that is worth staying alive for and even helping out. Those two are going to make one hell of a team.

The central theme throughout “Hardhome” was forgetting the past and moving forward with what’s best. The Targaryens and Lannisters have never been friendly, but these two main characters figured out that they’re a lot stronger with each other than they are by themselves. The same goes for the wildlings and the crows. It’s imperative they team up with one another to stand a fighting chance against the white walkers.

Continuing one with the theme, Arya attempts to forget her identity and take on a new one, Lana, an orphan who sells oysters to learn everything she can about a gambler from Braavos. It’s always exciting to see Arya’s journey with Jaqen H’ghar and that smile on her face as she learns her mission explains everything she’s feeling.

And then back at Winterfell there’s Sansa, screaming at Theon for betraying her yet again. We get a glimmer of good from Theon, who likely does feel he’s doing the best for Sansa by not helping her escape. Like he says, Theon tried to escape but Ramsay caught him and made him pay the price. He would do the same to her. But the real moment here is when Theon admits to Sansa that he didn’t kill Bran and Rickon. Right there, you see a flickering hope in Sansa’s eyes for the first time in a long while. Maybe there is something worth fighting for now that she knows she has family out there, somewhere.

Finally, there’s Cersei, unwilling to confess her sins to the Fath Militant and finds herself rotting in prison, sucking up every last drop of water from her own prison floor. She’s someone who simply cannot escape her own past and move forward. She knows what she has done and has made plenty of poor decisions up to now. She has made enemies, but none that she hasn’t faced the consequences for. With the sparrows marching around, her plan to keep her status at King’s Landing backfired tremendously. She keeps trying to hard to maintain everything that she has lost throughout the years, but like “Hardhome” has shown, her inability to leave the past behind her has forced her inside a dark pit with no hope of getting out. While everyone else are making changes and adapting to their situation, Cersie kept on plotting for her own gain.

With only two episodes left this season, I wonder if there will be anything close to as exciting “Hardhome” was, or did GoT use up all of its budget for that one sequence. That being said, there are still plenty of things that must be addressed. Will Stannis march onto Winterfell and will the Boltons be able to fend them off? Will Jaime Lannister be able to retrieve his daughter? Can Brienne rescue Sansa? What is Ramsay’s plan where he only needs twenty men? Let’s see what kind of surprises GoT will throw our way during these final episodes of season five.

game-of-thrones-hardhome3


Movie Review: Song of the Sea

May 30, 2015

Song of the Sea (2014)
93 minutes
Rated – PG
Directed by Tomm Moore

song-of-the-sea

Grade: A

Once in a while there are films that remind me how imaginative and creative feature animations can be. They’re not always about talking animals cracking jokes, or overwhelming amounts of cute creatures and bright colors. Sometimes, they can transport your mind to a place you never could’ve imagined on your own. Song of the Sea does exactly that.

Inspired by the Celtic folklore tradition of the selkie, director Tomm Moore invites us through a journey with some incredible characters and even more incredible narrative. Beginning like plenty of animated tales we’re used to, a family has to deal with the loss of a mother after she gives birth to her daughter, Saoirse. We flash forward six years later and the family is still having difficulties dealing with the tragedy. Ben, Saoirse’s bigger brother, resents his baby sister and father Conor can’t help but celebrate Saoirse’s birthday with a pint at the local bar, mourning his wife’s death.

We soon find out that little Saoirse cannot speak and that is because she is a selkie, a being who can turn into a white seal when she enters the sea. Throughout the movie, we watch Saoirse and Ben learn about the magical myth of the selkie and how the stories his mom once told him are actually real. There is plenty of obstacles along the way that makes Song of the Sea a marvelous ride from start to finish. Just as the family drama becomes too heavy, the plot dives into a mystical tale with faeries and a woman named Macha who traps bad feelings into jars while turning those into stone.

Seeing so much CGI-animations nowadays made me forget how intimate hand-drawn animations can be. This style really brought me into the film as it dazzled me with contrasting colors and abstract images, yet everything was still extremely detailed from the children’s faces to the surrounding in every setting. Don’t miss out on this enchanting film. Your heart will be overwhelmed with warmth as you sing the Song of the Sea during the credits.


Movie Review: Pitch Perfect 2

May 28, 2015

Pitch Perfect 2
115 minutes
Rated PG-13
Directed by Elizabeth Banks
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld

pitch-perfect-2

Grade: C-

The aca-bitches are back, but that doesn’t mean the sequel isn’t better than the original (and we all know how much I loved the first film). I know this is a ridiculous question, but did we really need a second Pitch Perfect movie? No, we didn’t, but that’s the case for more than half the sequels that exist. It’s just a shame when these films are made for financial reasons, leaving behind any kind of creative standard.

So where do I start? Since Pitch Perfect 2 is almost a mirror image of the original, let’s break it down. How are we supposed to get the three-time national a cappella champions off their pedastal and down to underdogs again? By opening the film with a failed performance that involved Fat Amy flashing the President of the United States. The consequences are rough and blown out of proportion, they’re suspended all the way up until the international a cappella championships, where they have no chance at all since the world hates America. You can already see how this film is going to end.

Most of the cast are from the original, including Beca and Fat Amy who are seniors now. Oh, and Chloe is still around because she wanted to fail classes just to continue her Barden Bellas run. But with all of these girls returning, we need a newcomer to keep everything fresh like the original. Enter Emily Junk (Steinfeld), a freshman legacy Bella who, like Beca, is a little different than the others. She’s an aspiring songwriter (hold your gasps, we’re just getting started).

Now what’s next? Oh, the Bellas need an enemy just like the Treblemakers. A group who is so damn good and intimidating that they second guess their every move and makes their chances seem slim-to-none. Enter the German team Das Sound Machine. They’re intense, scary, but achieve perfection at the a cappella game. They’re basically robots that can sing.

So what are the Bellas to do? They try and reinvent their sound, but fail miserably. They lose another riff-off because Emily decided to throw in an original song she wrote into the mix, which is a big no-no in a cappella competitions. Seriously, no one has ever done that before, so it would be entirely groundbreaking if somehow her original song played a huge part in this movie, like how Beca taught the girls the art of mash-ups. Just saying…

Despite how poor the plot is, how shaky the acting is, how silly and ridiculous moments are, and how predictable every scene ends up being Pitch Perfect 2 is exactly the way it’s meant to be. It’s guilty pleasure fun for all ages. It’s the movie your girlfriend wants to see as much as the thirteen-year-old girl down the block. It’s the movie you sort of secretly like and wouldn’t turn off if it came on TV. It’s like that weird kid in the corner of the cafeteria who is totall content eating by himself. You might not admit he’s a nice kid, but you understand he knows exactly who he is despite what you think. That’s Pitch Perfect 2. The movie is bad on plenty of levels, but it simply doesn’t care. It’s relentless in its unfunny jokes, auto-tuned covers, and undeveloped characters, but it does it with a smile. All that matters is that Pitch Perfect 2 is pretty enough to get away with its flaws. Ain’t that something to go through college with?


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