Tag Archives: Alphabet Cinema

Alphabet Cinema: “I” is for “An Idiot Abroad”

I want him to hate it. I want him to hate every minute of it for my own amusement. –Ricky Gervais

I was skeptical, at first, how free worldwide travel could possible be. Sounded like a prank. Sounded like my bucket list come true.

But Karl Pilkington is so decidedly and conspicuously British, he makes An Idiot Abroad (2010–ongoing) entertaining! While most avid travelers (like co-host Stephen Merchant) would view the adventures as chances to embrace different cultures, Karl, so set in his creature comforts, cannot help but complain his ass off. (Granted, he does make many good points sometimes.)

Hosts and producers Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant (Both creators of The Office (UK)) send their friend Karl to see the Seven Wonders of the World. Unfortunately for Karl, the two know him quite well, and arrange his trip to be much more. . .immersive than he’d like. Continue reading Alphabet Cinema: “I” is for “An Idiot Abroad”

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Alphabet Cinema: “H” is for “Hereafter”

Did you ever buy a really cheap rental copy of a movie from a dying Blockbuster before one of its branches went caput? Yep, I did that quite a lot; it was oddly satisfying. Problem is, I haven’t finished watching them all yet . . . so let’s begin with:

Hereafter (2010). From the DVD cover, looks like a paranormal action tale with Matt Damon. Uh, nope. Remove one of those adjectives. Despite Damon’s face, Hereafter boasts very little running and jumping (after the first twenty minutes or so). In fact, it isn’t all about Damon’s character either, even though his paranormal ability does play as a fulcrum to the plot. The story is split into three sections of a braid. Continue reading Alphabet Cinema: “H” is for “Hereafter”

Alphabet Cinema: “G” is for “Gone Girl” and “Grey’s Anatomy”

My brother wanted me to review Gone Girl (2014) for “G” but it hadn’t been on my Alphabet Cinema list when I first made it. (I’m still surprised he didn’t write a review first.) I’d had this film on my Redbox watch list though, and wanted to watch Oscar-nominated Rosamund Pike (Pride and Prejudice, Jack Reacher) in action.

Ruthlessness lies in those eyes.

So, because of her stellar skill and the movie’s success in general, I’m adding this blurp about Gone Girl, based on the novel by Gillian Flynn of the same title.

Watch it. (Maybe not with your significant other, if you’re having tiffs.)

It is a brutal analysis on marriage and the two partners involved therein. The critique is wrapped inside a media smorgasbord topped with suspected murder, one terrifyingly cunning wife, and the chance to strip all pretenses of marital bliss. It’s the type of shitstorm that either makes you, or breaks you. Continue reading Alphabet Cinema: “G” is for “Gone Girl” and “Grey’s Anatomy”

Alphabet Cinema: “F” is for “Fantasia/2000”

Yes, I’m falling behind a bit. My goal was to be halfway through the alphabet by now, but apparently writing while my toddler remains conscious simply won’t appease the little monkey/kitty/whatever animal the Chinese zodiac professes him to be.

So, in light of that, I’m going to review Netflix’s Fireplace For Your Home (2011) instead. It was a very nice alternative to actually blowing a hole in my southwestern home, erecting a brick chimney, and burning various chunks of dead tree. Also, if I donned headphones and stared at the screen, the crackling flames incited some nice ASMR. All I missed was the ashy aroma. Dang.

No, really. I’m not reviewing Netflix’s prank turned popular streaming video. I mean, I could, but I’d probably descend into some kind of philosophical musing and/or hypnotic state full of nonsensical drabble. And ain’t nobody got time for that.

But then, who has time for an hour and fifteen minutes of Fantasia/2000 (1999)? People who stay home with young children, like me, of course (read: people who would watch anything for a break from Thomas the Freaking Tank Engine). Continue reading Alphabet Cinema: “F” is for “Fantasia/2000”

Alphabet Cinema: “E” is for “Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)”

The first time I watched the 1995 version of this movie on the Disney Channel, I completely loved it. It’s a little kid’s dream, after all. Finding out you have telekinesis and telepathy, then discovering that your long-lost twin has them, too! Oh, but wait, then a rich old man wants to adopt you both in order to use your powers for his own nefarious purposes (like, gambling, people; keep it rated G).

He gives you a mansion and all sorts of toys and ice cream to keep you happy, but your twin gets bad vibes so you escape on a horse, with whom you can communicate mentally. So ensues a chase ‘cross the countryside, the man’s butler hot on your heels.

All the while, you strive to reach Witch Mountain. You don’t really know why, but just maybe, getting there will explain how you got these extraterrestrial powers and who knows? Perhaps finally, you’ll be home.  Continue reading Alphabet Cinema: “E” is for “Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)”

Alphabet Cinema: “D” is for “Don Jon”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a man of many talents, and he demonstrated them exceedingly well in Don Jon (2013) as director, writer, and actor. It’s a hat trick I was initially wary of regardless of my admiration for his work in both 50/50 (2011) and Inception (2010)–not from any doubts in what the man can do, but from this movie’s subject matter.

Don Jon is a 90-minute film that definitely earns its R rating from the get-go. Lots of cussing, lots of pornography. No, not X-rated, people, (whoa there slow down) but the viewer cannot doubt what’s going on if they’ve eyes and ears. The story focuses on a young man named Jon, who’s famed among his friends as “the Don,” for his ability to seduce the sexiest girls every night. And yet his activities cannot touch the feelings he receives from porn.

Well, enter Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), a voluptuous New Jersey vixen (and damn, hearing that accent from both actors was so odd), who snares Jon’s senses and demands that he gives up his internet fixations. See? On the surface, the movie sounds none too special, and prone to cliches. Fortunately, Gordon-Levitt excels at pulling you in with witty charm, snap-fast story-telling, and genuine emotion. He explores addiction and that pesky human tendency to deny its existence to our own detriment.

Don’t worry, though. All this sounds like a basis for heavy drama, but Don Jon is told with so many quick cuts and satirical musical stereotypes that you can’t help but be entertained.

Continue reading Alphabet Cinema: “D” is for “Don Jon”

Alphabet Cinema: “C” is for “Cupcake Wars”

It’s what came up when I searched “C” on Netflix, I promise! Truly, I wasn’t going to pick it buuuttt, then I saw the title of Season 8, Episode 14 (original air date July 7, 2013; on Netflix, it’s S1E24). That’s right, Philip! It’s your waking nightmare, the Blue Man Group!!! Aren’t you just elated, brother? I’ll just imagine that you are, instead of slightly nauseated.

For those going “huh?” the Blue Man Group is one of the most popular and beloved performance groups on the Las Vegas Strip. Audiences across the world have ventured to take part in their interactive musical experience. They combine unique, sometimes bizarre instruments with lights and technology into wondrous beats and melodies that celebrate life.

Continue reading Alphabet Cinema: “C” is for “Cupcake Wars”

Alphabet Cinema: “B” is for “Being Human”

Network: Syfy
Starring: Sam Witwer, Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington
Genres: Fantasy, Drama, Horror

I hadn’t even known about the BBC series until after I watched the pilot. My apologies to those fans. In retrospect, I should have figured it out when my search for season 1 images turned up a completely different trio of actors. Dense Christine is dense.

My first Netflix search for “B” actually brought up the movie Behaving Badly (2014), which I thought sounded nicely relevant to ASV and clicked on it. Then a slew of “ack-Selena-Gomez-in-crappy-teenage-rom-com” jolted me right back to the main menu. My fingers have great reflexes, I swear. Anyway, that’s how I found Being Human (2011-Ongoing): “There Goes the Neighborhood Parts 1 & 2.”

Continue reading Alphabet Cinema: “B” is for “Being Human”

Alphabet Cinema: “A” is for “Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies”

This rated-R, straight-to-video fusion of the Civil Ear and the undead is . . . um, well, I was going to be nice and say “interesting,” but I simply cannot bring myself to do so. As the first pick of my “Alphabet Cinema” journey, Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies (2012) was not an auspicious beginning. Several times during the viewing I found myself thinking WHY am I watching this? It didn’t even qualify for the “So-Bad-It’s-Good” category. Continue reading Alphabet Cinema: “A” is for “Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies”

An Unexpected Journey: “Alphabet Cinema”

Today, I am embarking on a journey of indeterminable length. A journey of great good average importance to my overall television and movie consumption. I dub it “Alphabet Cinema.”

What is it? A dual attempt at expanding my TV/movie viewing pool and catching up on recommended shows, a.k.a. a semi-ambitious project for my days off a.k.a. becoming more eccentric than I already am a.k.a. I needed a hobby and a goal; this is it.

I will NOT fail you, ASV-ers.

Continue reading An Unexpected Journey: “Alphabet Cinema”