Instructions not Included

13 Aug


Instructions not Included
By Eugenio Derbez

Do not let subtitles draw you away from this film!

Instructions Not Included is about a man, Valentin with a playboy lifestyle whose life gets turned around when he is tasked with raising a baby. Not knowing what to do, Valentin sets off to find the child’s mother and ends up on an adventure in fatherhood.

I also liked how this movie reflects the characters in the juxtaposition of the two lifestyles of NY vs LA; structured lawyer vs. fun movie stuntman. And though Valentin is a loving, wonderful father, his life LA still reflects some of his carefree, fun times of his past.

This film is a story about life. Life is beautiful. Life is a gift. Life is not a constant; it is ever changing and unpredictable. This film spans all ranges of emotions, fear, love, laughter, sadness, surprise.

One of the things I love about film and storytelling is its ability to transcend all languages and convey a message to the audience and this movie aces it!

I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but this is a hidden gem and a must see!


Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

4 Jul


By Kyle Killen

Coming of the heels of watching True Detective, I have been watching a lot of drama series lately, and though this show is far less dark and intense it is still thrilling and a trip for the mind and exciting in a different dramatic way. I remember when Awake premiered on NBC, and though I never got to follow the series on TV I was glad to find it on Netflix. It reminded me of something that Chris Nolan would make, playing with the concept of two worlds, reality vs. a dream.

This show delivered! If you want to see another good, one season cop/crime drama, this is the one to watch. Awake keeps you on the edge of your seat as the season progresses. Though the storyline felt liked it evolved slowly at first, it picked up pace as the protagonist moved deeper through his two worlds trying to uncover his reality. After a tragic car accident detective Michael Britten (played by Jason Isaacs) struggles to cope with the loss of his wife and son.

In one reality both Michael and Hannah Britten survive while their son was killed where in the other reality Michael and Rex Britten survive while Hannah was tragically killed. In both worlds Michael uses information from cases and people he meets to try and piece together the strange existence before him. Though I don’t want to give the story away, as you view this show you find yourself mesmerized by the plot unfolding trying to decipher the reality along with Michael Britten and are pleasantly surprised by the plot twists. This is a show well worth the watch.

Down on the Bayou

15 May


True Detective
By Nic Pizzolatto and Cary Joji Fukunaga

“Solution was right under my nose, but I was paying attention to the wrong clues.” -Marty Hart

Recently, I have been catching up on some drama TV shows on Netflix and onDemand. After watching Breaking Bad, I wasn’t really sure what show I wanted to watch next; perhaps The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones or something else. After searching around, I was told to check out True Detective on HBO, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. So I did, and it was awesome!

Created and directed by Nic Pizzolatto and Cary Joji Fukunaga, True Detective is an intense, gritty, crime show that follows the path of two men, Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) on a 17-year hunt for a serial killer in the bayous of Louisiana. I like the way that Pizzolatto and Fukunaga tell the story, starting in flashback in 1995, with time lapses into 2002 then moving forward in time with the present day of 2012.

Detectives Hart and Cohle investigate what appears to be ritualistic murder of a former prostitute Dora Lange. Cohle believes this murder is not the only one of its kind and from what we see of the victim; it is evident that this is not an “ordinary” murder case. Each hour-long episode of this 8-part drama is layered with all kinds of complexities and secrets as the graphic storyline draws you in and keeps you wanting more.

Not only was the acting superb, but also setting the story in Louisiana, with tones of religious extremists and voodoo woven in added just the right amount of eerie to the show. Similarly, the writing of this show is more than excellent! It is witty, smart, pensive and deep. I also liked the fact that as you watch the show you become immersed in their world, almost as if the you are another character in the show, along side the action, observing, uncovering and making your own deductions about what is being revealed, but it is up to you to pay attention to the right clues.

True Detective does not disappoint!



To view the trailer CLICK HERE

Also check out this BEHIND THE SCENES clip


Source inspirations


Back In Black

30 Apr

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 12.56.34 PM

Orphan Black
by John Fawcett and Graeme Manson

I am so excited for the return of Orphan Black season 2 on BBC! BBC puts out some great TV series like Copper, Sherlock Holmes, Ripper Street and now Orphan Black!

The show’s premise is about a young girl, Sarah (played excellently by Tatiana Maslany), who witnesses the suicide of a woman who looks identical to her. Sarah then assumes the identity of the dead girl, hoping that this will resolve some financial problems. But in fact Sarah uncovers more than that after assuming the dead woman’s identity.

The first season was learning about Sarah, who she is and that she is just one of many clones. After teaming up with the scientist–Cosima, and the soccer mom–Alison, the three clones (Sarah, Cosima, and Alison) become friends and work to uncover this clone world and the mystery within.  Now with season 2, the storyline goes deeper into uncovering the thrilling cliffhanger that ended season 1. The thrilling twists and turns and mysteries of the series keep the viewer coming back for more as audiences, along with Sarah, navigate through the conspiracy of who to trust and who is the enemy.

For me the concept of this show was very original and captivating and that is why I can’t wait to see what happens in the next episode!  If you are looking for a good, thrilling mystery show with a great cast, this is the one to watch!

Orphan Black, Saturdays at 9pm on BBC America

There’s something about Mary

14 Jan


Saving Mr. Banks
A film by John Lee Hancock

 “Winds in the east, theres a mist comin’ in, 
Like somethin’ is brewin’ and ’bout to begin. Can’t put me finger on what lies in store,
 But I feel what’s to happen all happened before”

We all know the infamous prologue to the beginning of the beloved story of Mary Poppins

After I heard that there was a film being made about how Mary Poppins became a Disney classic I was excited for the release.

I could think of no two people better to play Mr. Walt Disney himself and PL Travers the author of the Mary Poppins storybook, than Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.  These actors are by far some of my favorite, and some of the best actors in Hollywood.  They nailed it!

The supporting actors were well cast too! B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman who played the songwriting Sherman brothers. Bradley Whitford who played the writer Don DaGradi, Paul Giamatti as the driver, and Colin Farrell as Mr. Travers.

I really found it enjoyable that Disney made a movie about how one of their classics came to be. As a lover of the backstory within filmmaking and character development, I found the idea for the film something new and refreshing in the film world.  My only one tiny criticism but not even a real one, is that I wanted to know more of how they ended up with Dick Van Dyke and some of the other points that Mrs. Travers was so adamant about not having.

I loved all of the subtle tributes to the film Mary Poppins with hints of character names like Uncle Albert, and the nod to the carousel, to more upfront acknowledgments like the songs and the sketches of the characters.

One of my favorite executed sequences was the “Fidelity Fiduciary Bank” song scene.  I like how the montage was edited cutting between the studio and presenting the song to Mr. Travers giving his bank speech at the fair. More than that I liked how you could see the hurt and possibly one of the low points in Mrs. Travers childhood. Though it is a sad scene, it is a scene that humanizes Mrs. Travers, seeing her at a very vulnerable moment, you can see the love she had of her father and perhaps some loose ends that she never tied up from her past.

True to Disney form, this movie has its sad moments but as always has a redeeming quality at the end that leave you feeling happy and filled with the magic of Disney.


After watching the film, I later read an article in The Richmond Times, written by Rebecca Keegan.  One note that I found interesting in the article was that critics found that the film was “…too hard on Travers and too easy on the company’s founder.”  My point is that yes, though Travers does seem to be a bit harsh and difficult, having a past and a childhood like that I can see why she would be that way. However, the article also mentions that the film is more about her and how her story became to be a film and not so much on Walt Disney.  The article goes on to point out that, “A lot of children’s authors create these characters from places of tragedy and darkness,” a statement of which I would agree.  Furthermore, I found it interesting that when presenting the script to Disney, the fear was that the Walt Disney character would be changed to be presented in “Disney light” as I will call it and that there would be so many rules to follow—Similar to a P.L. Travers you might say.  Just goes to show that everyone is a critic in their own peculiar way.

And The Winner Is…

9 Jan

The glitz, the glam, the fashion, the live TV! With the awards season upon us, I can look forward to sunday nights spent watching The Golden Globes, The OSCARS, The Grammy’s, and The Critic’s Choice just to mention a few of many more award shows.

Starting tonight the first award show to kick off 2014 is the People’s Choice Awards! Celebrating success and achievements in Movies, TV and music, this is one of the only shows where the people vote for the winners.

This is one of my favorite award shows to watch because of some of the interesting nomination categories like:

  •  Favorite TV Bromance/Favorite TV Gal Pals
  • Favorite Streaming Series
  • Favorite Series We Miss Most
  • Favorite Movie Duo

So far tonight’s show has been entertaining but has still had share of awkward moments and forced jokes.  Even still, I have enjoyed Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs as hosts, they have great on-screen chemistry and it is like watching a longer, live episode of 2 Broke Girls.

Anyway, looking forward to all of the memorable moments to come with the other award shows !

Everyday I’m Hustling

30 Dec


American Hustle
a film by David O. Russell

Over holiday break, my family and I decided to go see American Hustle. After seeing all of the previews and trailers, I was very excited to see this 1970s comedy/ crime drama. Leaving the theater 2.5 hours later I was still deciding whether or not I thoroughly enjoyed the film or not. For me, the trailer made the film look exciting, like the con pulled off in Oceans Eleven. I found the movie to be rather enjoyable in the beginning and end of the film but in the middle there were definitely some lags and some slow pacing which were probably due to the length of the movie.

What I did find enjoyable, and perhaps a redeeming quality of the film was the music and the actors/acting and what looked like an ever so subtle nod to Saturday Night Fever. The crazy, at times ditzy, and unpredictability of Irving’s wife (Jennifer Lawrence), The wild yet still naïve at times, FBI agent Richie (Bradley Cooper) the seductive and cunning Edith/Sydney (Amy Adams) and finally the brilliant but at times acted like a pushover, Irving (Christian Bale). Bale’s character was a success to the storyline and the onscreen dynamic between his character and Cooper’s character was funny and entertaining.

Though Silver Linings Playbook is my favorite O. Russell film, I would still give this movie a go-see, even if you go just for the music.

Commercial Break 5

17 Jun

Well done! great pacing and flow.  Love the song with it and the feel of “cool” that comes across.

Commercial Break 4

6 Jun

Lol this is cute.  I had missed the part about passing down something he will be grateful for , but after watching it again now its pretty funny.

The Great Gatsby-Part 2

29 May


Finally! I have seen the new, remade Gatsby.  I know it has been a while but it was worth the wait.  I really, really found this remake to be well done and I am a fan of Baz Luhrmann’s style.  I loved the raw, grittiness and the intensity his style brought to the film.  Luhrmann’s unique film style played really well in setting the scenes and portraying the dirty, and urban feel of the “Valley” of the city.

Another element that I loved was the soundtrack! It fit so well with the updated telling of the story and had the perfect mix of new contemporary music with the jazzy feel of the era.

Though most people who are fans of the original film will say that no one was a Greater Gatsby than Robert Redford, I found Leonardo DiCaprio was well suited to play Mr. Gatsby.  In fact I found the whole cast to be rather a perfect fit for their roles.

While I did not find the original unenjoyable, (I actually liked how it followed the book and was narrated by Sam Waterston) I preferred this Gatsby much more than the original for the pacing of the story.  The remake was much better paced as the quickness of the film mimicked the moving and changing the beat of the city and also mimicked the story itself, spiraling out of control.

I also enjoyed how in this Gatsby film the viewer was able to see more into Jay Gatsby’s past, as well as in to Nick Carraway’s memories,  and really see character backgrounds and character development, creating a stronger bond between the audience and the characters unlike the original where I just felt like someone viewing a movie.

The only real negative that I had with this remake was the overuse of the phrase “Old Sport.”  I definitely do not remember Robert Redford saying “Old Sport” so many times.

Overall I think that this Gatsby film was successful and was able to modernize Fitzgerald’s story in a way that did not lose the identity of the original story.