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Oh Boy (Old Boy [2013])

Do you remember No Country for Old Men? That was one of the first movies to put Josh Brolin in the spotlight as well as Javier Bardem. Since that movie Bardem has gone on to some stinkers like The Counselor, but has also gone onto become one of the more memorable Bond villians in the last twenty years. Josh Brolin went on to act in Jonah Hex, Men in Black III, Gangster Squad and 2013's Old Boy. It's hard to say that Brolin is the common denominator in all these junky movies, but it appears to be so. I think I might have let the cat out of the bag on how I feel about Old Boy. But I think the title of the article gives that away as well.

Now that Old Boy has come to Netflix instant, I took advantage of the convenience and spent my Wednesday morning watching this freaky movie. Forget coffee, if you want something to wake you up in the morning, this might do just fine. 

To give you a synopsis of this movie might make it seem a little too fantastical. A drunk gets locked up in some sort of organized solitary, framed for the murder of his ex-wife and then released, with hopes of finding his daughter. 

It's hard to say what is and what is not a spoiler for this movie. I felt like I heard the spoiler a long time ago, so I'll not give it away now. When you get there, you'll just say w t f. It's quite easy to spoil this movie, so steer clear of any conversations about it. 

But I can tell you some of my favorite parts. I liked how over the twenty years, Joe played by Brolin, learns martial arts, and the moment he is released from his captivity, he goes to work and shows what he's learned. Throughout the back end of the movie, he is given ample opportunities to kick butt and he does so. It is choreographed very well, with Brolin apparently doing his own stunts. There is another action scene that takes place behind an elevator door, but the effect is still great. I think I'd enjoy the movie the same if it skipped most of the plot and revolved mostly around Joe kicking butt, Streets of Fury style. 

I can certainly think of better ways of spending 104 minutes than watching Old Boy. It's not that it's a bad movie, it's just one that I think is not worth my time, and probably not yours. 



Terminator: Days of Future Past (X-Men: DoFP)

Was I the only person to get a Terminator series feeling from the beginning of this movie? I'm sure that I wasn't. I'm probably not the only one to make this joke, but hey, the movie just came out today. X-Men: Days of Future Past is the story of Wolverine going back in time to unite Professor X and Magneto against a common threat. I know that it a very vague plot description, but any more detail might give away some of the story. 

I, like many, really enjoyed X-Men: First Class. It felt like Mad Men meets X-Men. I think many people loved First Class for that reason. But what we get this time around is X-Men meets American Hustle as Wolverine is sent back to 1973. I feel like there is a scene missing where Mystique complains about a science-oven almost burning down her home. 

The first action scene in the movie that takes place in the future is amazing. You get to see some crazy mutant powers like you've never seen them before. We're introduced to some new mutants like Warpath, Blink, Sunspot and Bishop. We see some familiar faces as well like Kitty Pryde, Iceman, Colossus, Storm, Professor X, Magneto and Wolverine. Once we make our way to 1973, the main characters are Wolverine, Professor X, Beast, Magneto and Mystique. The movie frequently goes back and forth to and from the future so that you don't feel cheated out of the new mutants. 

Something you might not have seen in the trailers is Professor X standing and walking around. I feel like they are keeping that a secret. If so, the cat is out of the bag. It's not a major plot point. Nor is the fact that Hank McCoy doesn't look like Beast for most of his appearance in the movie. You do get a glimpse of that in the trailers, so there is no secret exposed there. But what I HATED about this movie was how Beast "hulked out" when first meeting Wolverine. I'm not going to say how or why this things happened, but just know you'll not enjoy the way it comes about. Or you might. I just know that I did not.

The movie wraps up nicely, but the last 5 minutes or so made me scream at the screen. You'll see when you get there. The other things I hated most about this movie was that Anna Paquin was in this movie for about half a second and was credited very close to the top. So many other actors played pivotal roles in this film and for her to get such high billing was an insult.

So what if they cut her scenes. Re-cut the credits if you're cutting things so willy-nilly.

All things considered, I'd give this movie a B-. I'll certainly watch it again in my lifetime. But when First Class came out, I had to see it at least twice in the theatres. I definitely do not have the same feeling here. I might rent it when it comes out, but I'm not aching to see it again. But maybe I'll appreciate it a little differently the second time around.  




Fading Gigawhat? ( Fading Gigolo)

Saturday night I was watching tv at home and I saw a commercial for John Turturro's directorial debut Fading Gigolo. I have come to respect the work of John Turturro and wanted to see this film, which he not only directed, but wrote and starred in as Fioravante.

There is a great supporting cast including Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara, Liev Shrieber and lastly Vanessa Paradis as Fioravante's main love interest.

The plot of this movie is quite endearing, it almost speaks to Loverboy, the 1989 movie starring Patrick Dempsey, in the fact that it's about a gigolo with a heart of gold. Neither of these men want to go into the field of male prostitution but are goaded into it by their quirky friends, Woody Allen plays Fioravante's pimp Mo/ Bongo.

Fioravante is a florist who has great passion for his work and his attention to detail as a florist seems to be what makes him such a skilled lover. When Mo's dermatologist asks if he knows someone who might be interested in facilitating a manage a trois, he can't help but think of Fioravante.

Throughout, the exploits and intricacies of this movie make it very entertaining. Paradis plays her character Avigal flawlessly, convincing me that she is in fact a Jewish widow trapped in loneliness and sorrow. After a bit of research, I discovered Vanessa Paradis is a French actress, singer and model. This gives so much more credit to her performance.

Many scenes in this movie stick out as shot beautifully, like Avigal walking through the city to get to Fioravante's apartment. There is a scene in Central Park, that while it's not clear where in the park it takes place, it still seems wonderful for it's bright colors and secluded nature.

I saw this movie on a Sunday morning at an AMC theatre with about 20-30 other people. It was nice to see the turn out for a relatively unknown independent movie. It was also playing at the Huntington Cinema Arts Center, but I appreciated it more being on the big(ger) screen.

I would say rent this movie when it comes out if it's not in a cinema near you. By the end of the film it's a story about a man, who fell on hard times, making an honest dollar, but struggles not with morality, but mortality.


Captain America: Winter Sooo Close

Saturday night I had plans with my sister to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Our plans fell through so I had to go see it on my own. I planned my Monday movie plans on Sunday and decided that I was going to see the first showing at 9:30am.

I get to the theatre at 9:15 and all the doors are locked. This didn't make any sense to me. I double checked my Fandango App and realized that I was looking at Sundays schedule when I made my Monday plans. I rummaged through The Christmas Tree store before returning home with intentions of returning for the 12:30pm showing.

When I get back to the theatre I buy my ticket at the machine and buy some goodies. I check my wallet for coupons which I sometimes hoard only to find that I have a coupon for a free popcorn. I don't want popcorn though, so I figure if I get the opportunity I'll pay it forward. Online to buy my candy, someone offers me a coupon for candy and I say no thanks since I have one for candy as well, but I offer her my popcorn coupon. She was more than pleased. She said that her family likes popcorn not candy and I was more than happy to help.

After getting my sweets I go to get my IMAX 3D glasses when I realize no one is collecting tickets nor relegating the glasses. I go to the line at the box office window which I tried avoiding in the first place to get my glasses.

The movie starts and after 20 minutes the fire alarm goes off. Crap. Sometimes it's only a moment of alarm, but this wasn't a test. Every theatre was evacuated and about a hundred people stood outside baffled by the situation. Some over-reacted. I can't believe this. How can this be worse. Hmmm, we could be on fire. There was a lot of construction being done at the theatre so if I had to assume, the fire alarm going off was related to that.

With no manager to calm the sea of disgruntled patrons crew members were telling people to wait a moment until the fire department would arrive and the movies would resume. Others were collecting IMAX glasses and giving out coupons for another showing.

With my coupon in my hand I decided I was going to see this movie and be at school on time for my 6pm radio show. I was going to see it in IMAX like I intended and there was a showing at 2pm not too far away. "Perfect!"I thought.

I get to the theatre only to realize that it's a different chain and I'd have to lay out the cash again. I can still use the voucher another time at another Regal Cinema, but it was just the icing on a somewhat awkward cake of a day.

Let's see if the rest of the movie is as good as the first 20 minutes.


Going Live

Just when I thought I didn't have any free time between working full time and finishing my degree, I was able to carve out two hours a week to host a live radio show for my college's internet radio station.

Look for me Mondays 6pm-8pm. It's entertainment news and will reflect the tone of this site.

Here's the link: