Saturday, April 30, 2016

Everybody Wants Some - Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some (R) 117 minutes C

Starring: Zoey Deutch, Tyler Hoechlin, Blake Jenner, Ryan Guzman and J. Quinton Johnson

Everybody Wants Some is the latest film by acclaimed filmmaker Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, School of Rock, Boyhood). Linklater has been creating noteworthy cinema since the early 90s. His two previous films, 2014's Boyhood and 2013's Before Sunset, are among the most powerful coming of middle-age films of the last decade. When I heard about Everybody Wants Some during the Sundance Film Festival last January, I was anxious to see how he would follow-up Boyhood, the film ranked as the most acclaimed film of the 21st century (so far).

Everybody Wants Some isn't terrible; but, I was afraid it might be for the first 50 minutes or so. The first half of the film felt aimless and watered down- your run-of-the-mill boys will be boys 1980s comedy. But, the second half of the film rebounded as the characters became slightly more engaging and a meaning male/female relationship developed. One word to describe this effort is "cute," some might find it "nostalgic." I think it's a watered down, carefree b-side release that's mildly entertaining, especially when you consider his last two achievements in film.

Check out the trailer --->

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Post Office - Book Review

Published in 1971
Post Office - Charles Bukowski C+

Post Office wasn't all that I hoped it would be. In this autobiographical first novel, all of Bukowski's signature elements are here - the straight talk, the voice of the underclass, the anti-authoritarian, etc... But, overall it barely holds together (there's no plot whatsoever). The parts about his relationships with Joyce and Betty - characters supposedly based on the love of his life and his first wife - were intriguing and kept me interested. However, the rest of Post Office was hit or miss as it meandered on about job troubles, drinking and gambling. Despite my slight disappointment, the novel is still essential reading for anyone curious about Bukowski.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Not That Kind of Girl - Book Review

Not That Kind of Girl - Lena Dunham B+ 
Published September 2014

I'm the type of guy that reads Not That Kind of Girl. If you like Lena Dunham's HBO series, Girls, you'll like this book. This collection of personal essays made me wish I had documented everything in my life from senior year in high school to age thirty (after that things get weird/depressing). My essay collection could've been titled, I Am That Type of Guy. But, since I'm not famous and nobody wants to see me naked (emotionally or otherwise), I'll just recommend Not That Kind of Girl.

Check out this New York Times review by Michiko Kakutani

PS. If you like this book and/or Girls, I highly recommend Dunham's 2010 film Tiny Furniture. See the trailer here--->

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Demolition - Movie Review

Demolition (R) 100 mins B+
Demolished Thoughts

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper, Judah Lewis, CJ Wilson, Polly Draper and Heather Lind. 

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee (WildDallas Buyer's Club)

Davis Mitchell (Gyllenhaal) is a successful investment banker who is struggling to cope after the sudden death of his wife Julia (Lind). Instead of the "normal" mourning one might expect, Davis starts demolishing sh*t. He also starts writings letters (always cathartic) and hanging out with Karen (Watts)- a single mom, a hotty, and a pot head. Hmmm, maybe his behavior isn't all that unusual... However, his father in-law, who never liked him in the first place, is none to happy with Davis' strange and erratic behavior.

This film is probably not for everyone. It's a little unusual and a little uneven (especially toward the end); yet, I still found it moving and affective. The principle cast is strong and holds the film together even when the script is not at its best.

Highly recommended for Jake Gyllenhaal fans.

Check out the trailer --->

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dark Sparkler - Book Review

Published April 2015
Dark Sparkler - Amber Tamblyn A

"Not a word of Dark Sparkler is poetic in the foolish and flowery sense." ~ Diane di Prima

I loved this book. It's original, provocative, witty and surprisingly humorous. This is the kind of book I wish I had written. The kind of idea/theme I wish I had thought of. But, as it turned out, Amber Tamblyn nailed it. Dark Sparkler is the third and latest collection of poetry by Tamblyn, which also includes original art work by David Lynch, Sage Vaughn, Marilyn Manson and others. The book explores a dark side of Hollywood glitz via the deaths of numerous young actresses - some famous, some not so famous. Tamblyn, a well-known actress and underrated poet, handles this subject matter with keen insight and distinctive flare. She documents her own struggles and intertwines them with those of the deceased. Based on everything I know about the objectification of women in Hollywood, this book feels fiercely authentic and curiously enlightening. These dark minded poems have universal appeal that even non-poetry readers could appreciate.