In Memory of Robin Williams

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“Boy, why are you crying?”
“I don’t know. A tear for every happy thought.”
Wendy and Peter in Hook

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Hilarity and Adventure Ensue With “Guardians of the Galaxy”

cast of Guardians of the Galaxy

Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Rocket voiced by Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, and Groot voiced by Vin Diesel

4star-2“So here we are: a thief, two thugs, an assassin and a maniac. But we’re not going to stand by as evil wipes out the galaxy. I guess we’re stuck together, partners.”

After two years of anticipation following San Diego Comic Con 2012 where Guardians of the Galaxy was announced, it is finally here. After a summer of lackluster blockbusters, this science fiction action farce is guaranteed to restore your faith in the season. Set in Marvel Studios’s newly carved movie universe there are definitely ties to the other films, most notably the appearance of Thanos and his terrifying alien army from The Avengers. Do not let the brand fool you though, Guardians of the Galaxy is not your standard comic book adaptation.
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The Aesthetics of Mood Indigo

l'ecume des jours
3star“If we screw up this moment, we try the next. And if we fail the next, we have our whole lives to get it right.”

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The whimsical, fantastical and surreal tale of Mood Indigo left me with one conclusion–someone was on a cocktail of drugs when they crafted this alternate reality together. But that’s what makes Mood Indigo a visual feast to experience  on screen from the pages of the “unfilmable” novel it’s based upon.

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Now Playing On The Silver Stream

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We’ve all been there, aimlessly scrolling through heinously named genres trying to find the perfect movie to fill that moment. In the mood for comedy we scroll past obscure independents and unrecognizable titles from the 70’s and 80’s only to settle on that stand-up special you’ve seen a million times. Here at On The Screen Reviews we would like to extend a helping hand. Now Playing On The Silver Stream is an article series where we do that aimless scrolling for you. At least once a month we will bring you a smattering of streaming films you may just be missing out on. So without further ado, let’s take a look at three such films.

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Obvious Child, an Unconventional Romantic Comedy

Obvious Child 2014 Banner 
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“One thing I think our movie fights for, and I will fight for as a person, is that it’s a woman’s right not just to choose but to have complex feelings about that choice.”
 

Do a little dance, make a little love and getting down tonight sometimes results in one of the most common accidents women face today–pregnancy. It also results in one of the most glaring movie slogans of the year: “This is a romantic comedy…about abortion.”

Do I have your attention yet? Production company A24 (Under the Skin, Spring Breakers, The Spectacular Now) made a risque decision to splatter a quote containing the phrase “abortion comedy” on the poster. In response A24 founder David Fenkel said, “That’s in a quote on our poster. But it’s just one of the quotes. We didn’t shy away from the word ‘abortion,’ but we didn’t want to wear it on our sleeve either.”

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Sure it’s a funny movie, with a strong female cast and revolves around the unapologetic decision of abortion, but Obvious Child has more layers worth investing your time in than dismissing it by it’s slogan. The film explores the “dark side” of the road less traveled and does so with grace and raw emotion.

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Richard Ayoade Stakes His Claim With “The Double”

Jesse Eisenberg in The Double

Jesse Eisenberg in The Double

“I can see the type of man that I want to be versus the type of man I actually am… I’m like Pinocchio. I’m a wooden boy, not a real boy, and it kills me.”

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In an interview with The Guardian about his newest film The Double, Richard Ayoade nervously muses “Darth Vader is within all of us, and I remember that every time I shower.” The director of a new take on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novella The Double (the film takes the same title) Ayoade is known to anglophiles everywhere as the lovably and laughably naive nerd Maurice Moss from the British sitcom The IT Crowd. His quick wit and nervous humor serve him well in this adaptation which tackles the idea that we all, at times, wish we were something greater and sometimes that greater being is darker than we wish. An idea that is almost comically reflected in the difference between his comedic acting and much more serious directing.

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An Introduction

On the Screen Reviews

Greetings everyone,

After meeting Courtney through a mutual friend over the holiday weekend I was inspired to finally hit the keyboard and start writing reviews. In a move I’m hoping she won’t regret, Courtney has allowed me to share my reviews on what I consider to be a wonderfully formatted and already masterfully written blog. I look forward to this opportunity to voice my opinions on the current state of film to readers who are as diverse as you are articulate.

I was trying to come up with the best way to introduce myself and my tastes when I saw the Blogathon Questionnaire Courtney had filled out back in 2012. I believe it asks some fairly poignant questions and that this will be an interesting way for us to get to know each other. Comments are always welcome and with any luck I hope we forge a lasting relationship.

Cheers,

Derek

 

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Under the Skin — Is Sci Fi Back?

Under the Skin gif
5star“Who is it you’re waiting for?”

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“A genuine revelation. We may finally have an heir to Kubrick,” states LA Weekly in the film’s trailer. With A chilling score shrieking like crisp nails on a chalkboard juxtaposed with the serene countryside of Glasgow, LA Weekly may be on to something. The contradiction between score and cinematography is haunting yet beautiful. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen nor heard in recent years in the void of science fiction cinema…until now.

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It can be interpreted that the film uses aliens as a metaphor to question what it means to be human and what it’s like to be free of judgment or predisposed to our superficial culture. It’s completely bizarre and frightening yet impossible to look away from. Director Johnathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth) has resurrected Kubrick-style science fiction that faded off-screen decades ago.

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Maleficent

Maleficent titleMaleficent3star“Royalty…Nobility…Gentry. How quaint. Even the rabble.”

With backlash from both critics and audiences over the malevolent villain from the 1959 animated classic, the argument remains that the once frightening Maleficent has been botched into an empathetic heroine to root for in the 2014 creation of Maleficent.

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Normally remakes are mere cookie cutter remakes repackaged as new product, but follow the same formula as their predecessor. It takes guts to remake such a cinematically historical figure, and notably one of the most purely evil Disney villains. The tale of a villain’s story and past is more unique than what has been unearthed on screen lately while maintaining the integrity of the original story with a 21st century twist.

With that being said, Maleficent has it’s flaws as a film (hence my 3/5) rating, but I wouldn’t call it the complete bomb that critics are blasting it with.

Maleficent Gif Maleficent Gif
Maleficent Gif Maleficent Gif

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Life in your 20’s According to “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead”

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“I don’t believe this! I have to get up at 5:30 every morning so I can beat rush hour traffic into the city and go sit behind a desk for eight hours a day and miss Oprah Winfrey everyday on my summer vacation. And then, I get to drive home in gridlock IN A VOLVO with no air conditioning just so I can take care of you guys and put food on the damn table! It’s a rat race and it sucks, Kenny. So what do you want, a medal?”

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

If you were part of the ’90s youth, you’ll likely remember the movie Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, the story of unintentionally abandoned siblings for one summer starring a young Christina Applegate as Sue Ellen “Swell” Crandell. The best summer for Sue Ellen revolves around her mother going abroad to Australia, and Sue Ellen assumes responsibility to watch her siblings for the summer months.

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead Summer freedom is quickly jolted when Mrs. Sturak arrives, a decrepit, whistle-blowing babysitter hired at their mothers request and Sue Ellen’s dismay. Within no time flat, the hellish Mrs. Sturak croaks, and the kids decide to discretely drop her off at the morgue in a trunk with a kindly-worded note attached. The problem? All the cash needed for the summer was left on Mrs. Sturak. Would you call mom? Absolutely not, because it’s the early ‘90s, and we’re going to rock on and get through this on our own.

Despite it’s ’90s retro palette, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead offers a lot of déjà vu into my post-college life. Here’s what I gathered:


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