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FREE MOVIE PASSES: See “Why Him?” EARLY & FOR FREE!

Bryan Cranston has turned into a hero of mine. He already was, of course, after I plowed through all seasons of Breaking Bad AND re-watched Malcolm in the Middle with my kids. Cranston went to near-legendary status in my mind though, after leaving an autographed book at DFW Airport. It was later found by “Kenna,” who dutifully lost her mind over it on Twitter and incited rage-inducing jealousy in us all.

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Yes “Kenna,” it’s real.
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The TOP 5 DVDs to Rent This Weekend

Well, it’s time to officially catch up on the REST of the big Oscar-Buzz movies because FOUR of them landed at Redbox this week. It’s perfect because you’ll probably spend Saturday and Sunday recovering from your St. Patrick’s Day hangover, anyhow.

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5. Bryan Cranston received a Best Actor nomination for his role as a blacklisted Hollywood writer, but obviously lost to DiCaprio. It’s funny because, as much as I LOVE Cranston, I found his portrayal of the cigar-chomping, prose-spouting Communist to be a little annoying. Trumbo is an excellent Hollywood history lesson though, and I love seeing Louis CK in anything so I still have to recommend it.

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4. I gave Crimson Peak a C+ when it came out (read my review HERE) and chided it for being predictable. Movies that aren’t worth the inflated ticket price at the theater though, are often much better at home. Crimson Peak is beautifully shot and though it’s a ghost story, it’s also crazy sexy. There’s even a tiny glimpse of Tom Hiddleston’s naked butt. I’d say more but I think that sealed the deal for many of you.

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3. I was honestly shocked that Kate Winslet didn’t win Best Supporting Actress for her role in this film. I was also surprised that Michael Fassbender was nominated for his role as Steve Jobs, but only because I assumed he’d be nominated for Macbeth (also awesome IF you like Shakespeare). The non-traditional layout of the story might be annoying for some but you can’t beat Aaron Sorkin’s tight script. You’ll end up hating Jobs, but loving the film.

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2. Carol tells the story of two women who meet and fall in love in 1950’s New York. Cate Blanchett plays the title character and Rooney Mara is her swooning girlfriend, roles they were BOTH nominated for. I didn’t love Carol as much as every other film critic in the world, but I did appreciate the sex scene. Oh yeah, Blanchett and Mara both nude-up and get busy and for that, the world is grateful. Rent Carol, but don’t try to watch it until the kids are in bed…for like, an hour.

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1. I gave The Big Short an A+, even though it made me feel profoundly stupid. Director Adam McKay went to great lengths to explain the collapse of the U.S. housing market in simple terms, but they still weren’t simple enough for me. That didn’t keep me from loving the smart-but-douchy Ryan Gosling and desperately disillusioned Steve Carell. No other film had a stronger, more star-studded cast last year (Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Marisa Tomei, Melissa Leo) and not a moment of their screen time was wasted. Rent The Big Short first but prepare yourself. It will leave you feeling scared and stupid…and also craving Led Zeppelin.

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MOVIE REVIEW PODCAST: “Spectre,” “Trumbo” & “The Peanuts Movie”

I had so many great movies to review this week, that I decided to go ahead and record a podcast with all 3 of them. I’ve also got a rundown of what’s coming up next week AND all the free movie passes I’m giving away on my website. ENJOY!

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MOVIE REVIEW: Bryan Cranston Channels “Trumbo”

It’s hard for me to tell if I love a movie that Bryan Cranston is in or if I just love Bryan Cranston. I’ve adored that man for years, even as the tighty-whitey Dad on Malcolm in the Middle. That’s part of the reason I’m struggling to review the movie Trumbo. Cranston is in every scene, hunching his shoulders, smoking cigarettes and sputtering lines that only he could get away with. He doesn’t steal the show because he IS the show and at times, it’s distracting.

Bryan Cranston plays Dalton Trumbo, a Hollywood screenwriter who was blacklisted in the 1940’s for being a Communist. He and other writers, known as The Hollywood 10, were banished (Trumbo even did jail time) and forced to write under pseudonyms to make money. That is when Trumbo penned 2 Oscar winning films, and under different names. Continue reading →