How It Works

I love movies, but I hate most movie reviews. I hate them for two reasons: First, they always begin with a 3-5 paragraph in-depth description of the film. I don't want to know the entire plot, I want to know if it's good! I may say generally what the movie involves but that's it. Second, most movie reviews are unclear. I've read countless reviews that left me with absolutely no indication as to whether or not I should even see the film. Not here. I developed three methods to rate television and movies:

1. Just your average 10 point scale.
10 is obviously the best and 1 is the worst. Although, Something Borrowed might make below a 1 if I ever get around to reviewing it. I consider myself quite harsh, so if you see anything above a 9, it's probably in my top ten of all time.

2. What's it Worth?
I will tell you if I think it's worth paying for and worth the 2 (and ever more increasingly 3) hours of your time. I also make an educated guess as to whether or not you can multitask during the film.

3. The (not-yet) Patented Clairometer
In honor of my college friend Claire, I developed this rating system in order to display how "appropriate" the film is. It is designed to tell you a more detailed rating system. I find this helpful. Sometimes you want to know ahead of time so you're not stuck watching Black Swan in an empty theater with your mom. The range between PG-13 and R is more vast than the plot holes in a Michael Bay movie. I hope to combat this. The scale shows photos and descriptions of a few well-known women in film and television. The rating is the farthest woman to the left of the scale who would approve of the film. For example, June Cleaver would not approve of
Tequila Sunrise. The woman who would is probably Mathilda.





With this blog, I write as though someone will read it and enjoy what I have to say. I am under no false pretense that I have a wide readership. It is mostly for me and for the one other person who accidentally stumbled across this blog. If that is you, I'm glad you are here. With this blog, I send my thoughts about what I watch on a black box into the abyss of the world wide web. I hope you enjoy reading these thoughts as much as I enjoy writing them.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Little Mister Poolboy

The Way Way Back (2013)
Starring: Liam James, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph
Written and Directed by: Nat Faxton & Jim Rash

My Rating: 6.9
Worth: theater, on demand rental, and 2 hours fully paying attention
Clairometer: Holy Golightly

Take every moment when you wanted to punch Michael Scott in the jugular, add Sam Rockwell's brilliant destitute Tony Stark impression, a punch drunk Allison Janney who makes Lindsay F√ľnke look like mommy dearest, throw in 120 pounds of awkward teenage boy, and just a dash of hilarious "Dean-like" Jim Rash and cook over the high summer heat. This is the recipe for The Way Way Back. What does any of that mean? The film is excellent. There is a very Little Miss Sunshine feel to it. For example, The Way Way Back redefines the concept of a loving family and what it means to be accepted in one; Steve Carell plays an unexpected character; and it sheds light on the fact that adults are just as flawed as their kids. 

It is rare to watch a good movie that leaves you with a (very momentary, but) happy feeling. Jim Rash and Nat Faxton's third collaboration is far superior to The Descendants. However, it probably won't win an Oscar. Aliens don't invade. The top doesn't keep spinning. The oppressed Jewish girl doesn't kill the Nazis. This film is the JC Chasez to the Justin Timberlake (music, not acting obviously - did you see Alpha Dog? Funny I didn't either). He's just as good, but something is just missing. And that something in The Way Way Back is endurance. I know in 4 years I'll be trying to remember the title of this movie and why I liked it. I suppose I can check this blog to retrieve that information. Thanks Al Gore. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What I'm Watching This Month

Orphan Black (2013)
Airs On: BBC America
Staring: TATIANA MASLANY, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Gavaris
Created By: John Fawcett, Graeme Manson

My Rating: 8.0
Clairometer: Erin Brockovich

Tatiana Maslany is in all caps and emboldened because she is the entire show. She plays 7 different characters, all from different countries and regions, with different accents, mannerisms, and motivations. Her absence from the Emmy list is a bigger crime than the fact that Sophia Vergara continues to be on it. The story line is interesting, the acting impeccable, and the writing is excellent. Why not a 10 you ask? The production value is lower than I would like (sorry Canada). It tends to take away from the quality of the show otherwise, bordering on cheesy at times. It is still quite worth your time, and good luck not becoming an enormous fan of Tatiana Maslany (I know, I know. That horse is dead. I'll put down the bat).   

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Mistakenly Un-Marketed Marketing Movie

Syrup (2013)
Starring: Amber Heard and Shiloh Fernandez
Written by: Max Barry, Aram Rappaport
Directed by: Aram Rappaport

My Rating: 5.8
Worth: No money, but 2 hours paying attention
Clairometer: Mathilda

This is based on a book, and it shows. I usually hate reviewing films based on books without having read the book, so as not to seem ignorant. I remember reading a scathing review of plot holes in The Hunger Games film that are clearly explained in the book. The screenwriters are most likely saving the explanation of the reviewer's complaints for the following three films. It just made the reviewer look like a putz. I hope I have not put myself in his shoes. All that being said, it seems like it's probably a good read, basing it off the witty dialogue and creative use of statistics. However, the plot is jumpy, disjointed, and occasionally unbelievable

To say that Kellan Lutz and Brittany Snow costar in this is ludicrous. If you're fans (not sure why you would be one of his) and only watching it because you see they're in it, don't bother. With that same logic, Misty May Treanor would be a huge fan of Cast Away.

Moving on to the true star of the film, Amber Heard. I heard Rhianna say once that she can make anyone attracted to her, straight woman, gay man, or otherwise. If that was ever true (trust me it wasn't) then she is henceforth dethroned by Amber Heard. She is a young Scarlett Johansson unscathed by Woody Allen's campy and at times creepy grasp. In this role, she is smart, attractive, professional and in charge. God bless her for getting out of the passenger's seat of Nicolas Cage's Buick Riviera and taking roles like this. While the film itself is not going on any rational person's "top 20 movies of all time list," her character is well written and fun to watch.

Syrup is worth watching for the comments on today's consumers, youth and relationships. In a sense we all are marketing ourselves to others - even our significant others - every single day.