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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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Actor Spotlight: Daniel Radcliffe

It's "new segment that I won't keep up with" time! Remember when I thought I could start a new TV show every month? In the words of the How I Met Your Mother cast, "Oh Honey." I have no preconceived notions of time for this segment. I'm just going to post about an actor (yes I'm one of those snobby people who refer to women as actors) that I think is unappreciated (not in dollar bills -pound notes? - 'cause Dan be rollin' innit*) and underrated. I will also attempt to exhibit them in a comedy, drama and television show. Obviously, I will be recommending the comedy, drama and television show. Leggo*

I like Daniel Radcliffe. I think he's serious about acting. I think he doesn't try to run from being known as Harry Potter. I think he embraces it, is incredibly grateful for the opportunity, and moves on. The following 3 items are my favorite Dan Radcliffe works since Deathly Hallows.

Comedy: What If (2013)
Written by: Elan Mastai, T.J. Dawe (Play, "Toothpaste & Cigars"), Michael Rinaldi (Play, "Toothpaste & Cigars")
Directed by: Michael Dowse
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver, Rafe Spall

My Rating: 8.4
Clairometer: Mathilda

I cannot recall the title, blog or author of the review that led me to watch this film. Being in law school, it frightens me and also exhilarates me to say something without providing the reader with a source. But the essence of the article was this: "this makes 500 Days of Summer look like garbage." Excessive much? Pandering for readers much? But I was intrigued, clearly. I love What If for 6 reasons. You have to write articles in reasons now. Thanks Buzzfeed. Hashtag 21 reasons why Buzzfeed is ruining modern society every writer will understand.

1. It was filmed in Toronto. I have no affiliation with Toronto, or even Canada. I can just appreciate films displaying cities other than New York. If I hear another critic say "New York City is a character in the story," I truly may vomit. We get it Taylor Swift, NYC is great. It's a concrete jungle filled with bagels and we are "welcomed" to it. But it was so lovely to get to know another city for a change.

2. It shows what relationships are actually like. It's difficult for me to describe this point without giving anything away. Let me give you a hypothetical to explain my point. In most romantic comedies, there is a boy and a girl. In my example, Boy is dating Girl 1. He sees Girl 2 across the room. She is reading a book he likes and is more his type physically. Boy leaves Girl 1 and pursues Girl 2. Girl 2 finds this so romantic. She's his ONE. They're in love. How magical. Talk about garbage! Or vomit! This isn't romantic. I'd be mad if I were Girl 2. How do I know Boy won't find a Girl 3? This is the type of cliched malarkey, peddled to us as romance that What If avoids.

3. Daniel Radcliffe is adorable. No, I don't mean in that "we all kinda wish we were Ginny at times" way. I mean he is cleaver, witty and winningly self deprecating. He is a joy to watch act in this (and frankly all three things I'm mentioning).

4. It gracefully navigates heterosexual, opposite sex friendships. 

5. It is genuinely funny and romantic. I laughed at the banter and held my breath during the vulnerability.

6. It is indie but not INDIE. What If is actually unique. It doesn't try to cover up bad improvisation by being black and white. The director doesn't try to pull any odd camera angles. There isn't any whining folk music. The actors don't say lines that lack purpose.

Drama: Horns (2013)
Written by: Keith Bunin (Screenplay), Joe Hill (Novel)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Max Minghella, Joe Anderson
Directed by: Alexandre Aje

My Rating: 7.5
Clairometer: Jenny Curran

Everything is based on a book these days. So I'll stop mentioning that I have or haven't read the preceding books to films. One sentence review: If Nicholas Sparks and Stephen King collaborated and you surprisingly didn't hate it. At its core, Horns is an epic love story, spanning the boundaries of actually being alive. But everywhere apart from its core, it is a sickening look at humanity's intentions mixed with gory displays of awkward deaths. I think this is an interesting film. Daniel carries the film and flashes of Juno Temple prove that she is a red-headed goddess. Dan's acting style here is wide-open. Every place in What If where he was reserved, in Horns he is pugnacious. Seeing him display love so vigorously is something to behold. But in his love he becomes wicked. And that wickedness is equally bewitching. Only negative comments: Some of the gore was just odd, bordering and then crossing the line into unnecessary. And secondly, Daniel should probably split fees with Emma Watson for American accent lessons.

Television Show: A Young Doctor's Notebook (2012 -)
I hate myself for the following laziness, but there is a slew of writers and directors accompanying this series. It is unclear who the creator, head writer, EP with the final say or any of those coveted slots belong to. So I will simply say it is a BBC show starring Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm.

My Rating: 7.9
Clairometer: Jenny Curran

Again with the gore. I don't even particularly feel drawn to horror, blood, or guts. I still can't watch the model village steeple fly into Mr. Skinner's lower jaw. But for some reason, Daniel Radcliffe's humorous demeanor eliminates the need to keep a blindfold or a puke bucket handy when watching this show. (I don't know why I've mentioned vomit 3 times in this post).

His comedic timing is great and he feeds off the stoicism that Jon Hamm cannot help but project. I like to know from a person who really likes the show how far I should watch and if I don't like it by that point then I just won't like it. That sentence was confusing but clear when read twice. For A Young Doctor's Notebook, it's Episode 2 Season 1. If by the end you're thinking, that mootmovies chick is out of her movie-obsessed mind, then by all means stop watching. For example, for Breaking Bad, I would say if you don't like it by Episode 5 Season 5, then you should stop watching. Meanwhile, for The Inbetweeners I'd say Minute 13, Episode 1, Series 1.

*I've been binging on Parks and Recreation lately. Tom's vernacular is more contagious than that flu Leslie got. 

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