“Boyhood” a nostalgic trip down memory lane

For those who do not know the background story of Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood”, it would not be wrong for one to assume that the 2014 film is a stereotypical coming-of-age story of a young boy. That, however, is that absolute last type of film that “Boyhood” is.

Usually, movies such as these have a change of actor within the same character role. A child would be cast to play role of the child, a teenager would be cast as the teenager, and an adult would be cast to play the role of an adult because the movies are usually filmed over the span of a year or less. Linklater, however, made the decision to throw caution to the wind and film the same cast, for one week each year, over a span of 12 years (May 2002 to October 2013) and create a movie with an unheard of directing style.

The film focuses around the life events of a boy named Mason Evans Jr., who is portrayed phenomenally by Ellar Coltrane. As a young boy, Mason, Jr. and his sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), experience the event that no child wants to have happen, the unfortunate splitting of their parents. Olivia and Mason, Sr. (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke) both love their children unconditionally but they themselves cannot live happily amongst one another and file for a divorce. Continue reading

How “Harry Potter” will withstand the test of time

On July 21, 2007, the final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released. Before its release, I can still remember the anticipation and anxiety that encompassed every child, teenager, and adult, because no one was exactly sure would happen to Harry and the rest of the Wizarding World. Rumors traveled from person to person and ranged anywhere from Lord Voldemort taking over the entire world to Harry becoming the next Minister of Magic. At stroke of midnight, the book was released and over 11 million copies were sold in the United States alone within the first day.

Over seven years have passed since the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and in that time, many other critically acclaimed series, such as Twilight, the Hunger Games, and Divergent, have been released. While each of these series is unique and relatively impossible to compare to one another, the story of the “Boy Who Lived” continues to appear in the lives of us all. ABC Family seems to have a Harry Potter movie marathon on at least one weekend out of every month of the year. Universal Studios amusement parks around the world have begun building the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which includes the castle of Hogwarts, village of Hogsmede, and brand-new this summer, Diagon Alley. While other series may eventually have their own movie weekends on a television network, it is hard to imagine any of them having the success and profitability that the Harry Potter series has had and the separating factor is quite simple: the brilliant mind and talent of author J.K. Rowling. Continue reading

“Blair Witch” underachieves

The Blair Witch Project (1999) is considered to be one of the most innovative, polarizing, and controversial horror films to ever be made. Three teenagers embarked on a journey into the Black Woods in Burkittsville, Maryland to investigate and document the urban legend of the Blair Witch. The kids end up disappearing but someone finds their cameras and the movie is the footage.

This film sparked so much discussion when it was released because of the new-at-the-time “found footage” style of narration. People were genuinely unsure if what they were watching was real or not and some truly believed the events shown in the film happened to these teenagers. That belief is why some critics and viewers loved it but also is why some viewers hated it. Nothing really happens in the movie to stimulate fear, if one did not believe what they were watching was real – there are just a bunch of creepy noises and shaky camera work.

Fast forward 17 years and director Adam Wingard decided to pull one of the biggest marketing twists of recent years and revealed that his new movie marketed as, The Woods, was actually titled, Blair Witch.

Congrats to the Wingard and the marketing team on that one. Seriously. It was pretty brilliant and gutsy idea but unfortunately, that was the best idea the film had to offer. Continue reading

Has television become too graphic?

CAUTION: SPOILERS BELOW

“You can breathe. You can blink. You can cry. Hell, you’re all going to be doing that.”

Those were the words said in AMC’s hit-show “The Walking Dead” right before Negan proceeded to beat two characters’ heads in with a barbed wire covered baseball bat he calls Lucille.

“The Walking Dead” villain, Negan, who is portrayed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan – From Flickr Commons

Continue reading

“Doctor Strange” is magical

“Forget everything that you think you know.”

That was the advice that was given to Dr. Stephen Strange by Baron Karl Mordo midway through “Doctor Strange” and that is the perfect statement to describe this movie.

Forget everything that you think you know because this is not the stereotypical superhero movie or, Marvel movie, for that matter. “Doctor Strange” is easily one of Marvel’s best films to date and it really is not even close. Continue reading

What is considered “graphic content”?

Remember that in the 1950s, popular TV couple, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, slept in two different twin-sized beds on the show “I Love Lucy” even though they were a happily married couple? Remember how the thought of them being show in the same bed on television was considered graphic and indecent?

Today, in television, it is hard to make it through an episode of any television show, whether it be on over-the-air stations, cable, or premium cable, without seeing a couple sleep in the same bed or even perhaps get a bit more frisky. Regardless of whether one likes it or not, that is the standard that society has adapted today. Yet is that technically considered “graphic”?

Think of how in Fox’s new hit drama, “Designated Survivor,”they show a terrorist group murder a man. There is not much gore shown but compared to the 1950s, the idea of even implying murder was unheard of. Is that considered “graphic”?

Or lastly, think of how HBO’s Emmy-winning drama “Game of Thrones” uses explicit language, frequently, and powerfully to add weight to the context of the conversations. Eh, that might just be one of the smaller options to pick on from the show but still, is that language considered “graphic”? Continue reading

What is “television”?

For the past 50 years, when someone asked, “Want to watch some television?” a person immediately thought of sitting down on a couch, in front of box television set, and flipping through the channels until they found one that had a show they liked.

That process was something that no one questioned – Television was something that an individual could only watch at a house at the specific time a program was on. The belief was that television was something that could only be watched on over-the-air channels or through a cable/satellite dish.

Upon further examination though, that belief could not have been more wrong. According to Merriam-Webster, television is “an electronic system of transmitting transient images of fixed or moving objects together with sound over a wire or through space by apparatus that converts light and sound into electrical waves and reconverts them into visible light rays and audible sound.” Continue reading

Is television becoming even more competitive?

There is no question that television channels and companies are ultra-competitve with one another. Each year, stations attempt to outdo the others by having the best television shows and gain more recognition amongst the public eye. By having one of the most watched channels, there is a greater likelihood that station will get more money and have the ability to produce even more and better shows.

While there are many justifiable reasons that one can provide as to why a certain network is the best, often times the most used reason is the total number of Emmy wins a station received in the previous year. At the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, HBO and FX shared the crown, as both networks won 6 major awards. The total nomination list by network was as followed:

HBO: 40, FX:28, Netflix: 17, ABC: 12, AMC: 9, Showtime: 8, Amazon/NBC/CBS/PBS: 6, Comedy Central: 5, Fox: 4, and BBC/Lifetime/USA: 3 Continue reading

Negannnnnn

In all the shows I’ve watched in my life, I have never encountered a villain like Negan in “The Walking Dead.” Do not get me wrong, I completely hate the person he is. He is disrespectful to women, a psychopath, and also completely full of himself. Oh and he also killed my two of my favorite characters in the show… Still salty.

Yet, behind all that hatred, I also kinda, sorta, maybe love the character of Negan. Now, a lot of that has to do with Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s awesome performance every second of the show. The man knows how to act and act well. But I love how Negan has an admiration for courage and braveness, even if it comes in the form of defying him. Typically, there is a price to be paid because of that but it comes at someone else’s expense. While that is not okay, it still is interesting how he values those who are willing to stand up to him (Daryl and Carl).  Continue reading

Walking Dead 706 Quick Thoughts

Wow. How is that the episodes that have strayed away from our main characters have been the most interesting and best ones this season?

“Swear” focused on the aftermath of Tara and Heath after the satellite attack. A broken Heath wonders if he should even go on after the people he had to kill there and while the two are scavenging for supplies on a bridge, they find a horde of walkers that causes Tara to go over the edge. Continue reading