Wednesday, September 25, 2013


The following is a complete review of Dexter (2006-2013). 

Dexter tells the story of Dexter Morgan, a Miami Police forensic expert who moonlights as a serial killer in his spare time. He lives by a code that forces him to only kill other criminals. The show deals with Dexter's journey as a serial killer while also highlighting major investigations by the rest of the department.

 dexter review, dexter blood

The show gives us an interesting look into the mind of a serial killer. The show is mostly shown from Dexter's point of view as he gives us insightful narration throughout the episodes. We get to see the many different sides to him as he tries to maintain his cover. He's an excellent forensic expert, a loving brother, and a ruthless serial killer, all while being oddly sympathetic.

 photo Dexter-tv-show_zps3abfd9b5.jpgThe most interesting aspect of the show is that nobody knows his secret. He's working with the police and they have no idea who he actually is and what he's capable of. Even his sister, a detective, doesn't suspect a thing. He's right under their noses and they don't even realize it.

Dexter also gave us an interesting moral dilemma. How do we root for our main character when he kills people? Can the killing of criminals be justified if they "deserve" it?  The show focuses on many questions like this early on but got away from in the later seasons.

 photo DoakesS71_zpsac8a0453.png At it's peak, Dexter is up there with some of the greats. Sadly, it's a show that lasted a few seasons too many. The first two seasons are two of the most exciting and intense seasons I've ever seen on T.V.

The show was edgy, exciting, and downright creepy. When they changed show runners after season 4, it all went down hill. The first four seasons are great. The last four aren't and don't even seem like they same show. While it used to be intelligent and intense, it became boring, tiresome, and just plain dumb. It's full of plot contrivances, terrible writing, and poor character development.

 photo dexter-zoey_zps14318fa8.jpgThe show stopped taking risks and gave us the same storyline each season. They introduced a new guest actor each season to play another serial killer to face off against Dexter. After the first few times, we know how it's going to end. It wasn't nearly as suspenseful.

What made Dexter so successful early on was the fact that he was a serial killer working for the police and the incredible suspense that went with it. Would the police find out? What would happen? After visiting this idea early on, they got away from it and focused more on Dexter's journey as a person, which wasn't nearly as interesting. The show lost it's edge.

Dexter used to be a great show and the first few seasons are still worth checking out. Just don't expect expect the same level of greatness after that. It's a sad fall for a show that could have been of the great shows of all time. Having one of the most disappointing final seasons in recent memory doesn't help much either.

 photo 550w_dexter_s06_e01_9_zps690bb4fb.jpg

Saturday, September 21, 2013

50/50 (2011)

The following is a review for 50/50 (2011).

50/50 tells the story of Adam, a normal 27 yr old guy, who discovers he has cancer after a routine checkup. He's a health nut and a nice guy. He never expected this to happen to him. After doing research on his cancer, he realizes his odds of surviving are 50/50.

 50/50 movie, 50/50 movie review, Joseph Gordon-Levitt 50/50
While this may seem like a heavy drama about a dying man, it's also a comedy. If that seems farfetched, just remember that it's inspired by a true story. One of the best things about this film is how well they blend the comedy with the drama.

 Seth Rogen Joseph Gordon-Levitt 50/50 There's a ton of hilarious moments between Adam (Joseph Gordon Levitt) and his best friend Kyle (Seth Rogen). Sometimes the best way to get through a tough situation is to forget about your problems and just have fun. The film also shows that friends and family help as well.

Even though, the film has a lighter approach, it doesn't shy away from the serious and emotional aspects that come with cancer. We see Adam's struggle to beat this disease through his treatment, chemo, and frequent doctor visits.

 Anna Kendrick JGL 50/50 movieThrough his therapy sessions with Katherine, a young therapist, we get a real sense of what Adam's going through. Katherine (Anna Kendrick) is new at her job, but we can see that she truly cares, even if she doesn't know how to handle every situation yet.

The film wouldn't work with Joseph Gordon Levitt. The whole cast is great. Rogen, who provides most of the comedic moments, but it works great within the film. Gordon Levitt is the one that carries the film. We feel his pain and hope for the best.

 photo 50-50gif_zps97627c08.gif50/50 is funny, sweet, and emotional. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll have a smile on your face. It's an honest and realistic look at what it would be like to have cancer at such a young and the struggle to deal with it.

50/50 is a rare treat. The film proves that even in some of the darkest moments in life, it's always good to have a laugh and enjoy your time here. You never know when it might be taken from you.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Most Anticipated Movies of 2013

I've just updated my list of my anticipated movies for the rest of 2013. So far, I've seen one from my original list, The Spectacular Now. You can find the review for it here... The Spectacular Now review.

You can find the full list here... Most Anticipated Movies of 2013.

I'll be updating this as I see more and more movies and post reviews for the ones I've seen as well.

Just an update for you guys.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Top 10 Best Films of 2008

Click the picture for a direct link to the trailer.

1. The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky)
 The Wrestler movie, The Wrestler best movies of 2008, Mickey Rourke The Wrestler 

2. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan)
 The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight police car, The Joker police car, Batman police car 

3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher)
 Brad Pitt The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Best movies of 2008 

4. In Bruges (Martin McDonagh)
  In Bruges movie, Colin Farell In Bruges, In Bruges 2008 best movies 

5. Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle)
 Slumdog Millionaire best movie of 2008, Slumdog millionarie best picture 

6. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton)

7. Milk (Gus Van Sant)
 Milk movie, Sean Penn Milk, Milk best movie of 2008 

8. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Nicholas Stoller)
 Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Forgetting Sarah Marshall best movies 

9. Revolutionary Road (Sam Mendes)
 Leonardo DiCaprio Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road movie,  

10. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father (Kurt Kuenne) Dear Zachary movie, Dear Zachary Documentary 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

Click on the picture for a direct link to the trailer.

September 14th Update. 

1. 12 Years a Slave
 12 Years a Slave Best Picture, 12 Years a Slave Oscars
The festival buzz as been outstanding so far calling this the greatest film about slavery ever made. Due to the quality and subject matter, it's the clear frontrunner right now.

2. Gravity
 George Clooney Gravity Oscars, Gravity Best Picture
Word on Gravity has also been outstanding. However, Sci-Fi movies haven't done well with the academy in the past (in terms of winning) so I'm putting 12 years a Slave ahead of this for now.

3. American Hustle
 American Hustle cast, American Hustle Oscars, American Hustle Best Picture
We still haven't heard much on American Hustle yet, but it was my favorite to win before the festival circuit started. I'm still giving it a good chance for now based on all the talent involved.

4. Rush
 Rush movie, Rush best picture, Rush Oscars
Rush is the type of story the Academy loves. It looks like this can bring Ron Howard back into the Oscar race. I think it will be a big hit.

5. The Wolf of Wall Street
 The Wolf of Wall Street Best Picture, The Wolf of Wall street Oscars, The Wolf of Wall Street DiCaprio Predictions
Two words: Martin Scorsese. The man hasn't made a bad film yet. He's one of the best film makers of all time and his films always garner a lot of attention. If successful, I expect The Wolf of Wall street to be a player.

6. The Monuments Men
Monuments Men Oscars, The Monuments Men Best Picture, The Monuments Men cast
The Monuments Men also has everything going for it. It's a historical true story with a ton of talent involved including several previous Oscar winners. My only worry is that it seems too similar to last years winner, Argo, to be a true force in the race.

7. Inside Lleywn Davis
 Inside Lleywn Davis Oscars, Inside Lleywn Davis Coens Best Picture
Similar to Scorsese, the Academy loves the Coens. They have had 4 previous films nominated for Best Picture. With the great reviews, I expect Inside Llewyn Davis to be their 5th. 

8. Captain Phillips
 Captain Phillips Best Picture, Captain Phillips Oscars

Captain Phillips is another amazing true story highlighted by a terrific performance by Tom Hanks. It could turn out to be more of a box office thriller than a major Oscar player though. We'll have to wait and see. 

9. August: Osage County
 August: Osage County Best Picture, August: Osage County Oscars

With the terrific cast and The Weinsteins behind it, I'm expecting it to grab a spot. Though it could miss out here, and just receive some love for the performances.

10. Fruitvale Station
 Fruitvale Station Oscars, Fruitvale Station awards

This is tricky. There are a lot of contenders for this spot. Fruitvale Station is a devastating true story that has received amazing reviews (94% on Rotten Tomatoes).

Other Possibilities

11. Saving Mr. Banks

12. Her

13. Foxcatcher

14. The Butler

15. Dallas Buyers Club

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Oscar Predictions: Best Director

Click on the picture for a direct link to the trailer.


September 10th Update.


1. Steve McQueen- 12 Years a Slave
 12 Years a Slave Oscar, 12 Years a Slave cast
12 Years a Slave is being called the best movie about slavery ever made. McQueen missed out for Shame, but this looks much more Academy friendly.

2. Alfonso Cuaron- Gravity

Gravity is a visual masterpiece and many reviews are comparing it to 2001: A Space Oddessy. He's a lock. It's between McQueen and Cuaron at this point.

3. David O. Russel- American Hustle
American Hustle cast, American Hustle behind the scenes, David O. Russell American Hustle Oscar
This is where things get interesting. Russel has been nominated for his last 2 films. If American Hustle is a hit, it could be 3 for 3.

4. Ron Howard- Rush
 Ron Howard Oscar, Ron Howard Rush
Early word on Rush has been great. Howard looks to make a comeback to the Oscar race. It's an incredible true story that should get the voters' attention.

5. Martin Scorsese- The Wolf of Wall Street
 Martin Scorsese Oscar Wolf of Wall Street, Wolf of Wall Street behind the scenes, Leonardo DiCaprio Wolf of Wall Street
Scorsese is one of the best directors of all time. He's already been nominated in this category 7 times. He needs to be considered for every movie he makes. I wouldn't count him out.

Other Possibilities

6. George Clooney- The Monuments Men

7. Joel and Ethan Coen- Inside Llewyn Davis

8. Paul Greengrass- Captain Phillips

9. Spike Jonze- Her

10. Ben Stiller- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Coming soon: Best Picture

Monday, September 9, 2013

Oscar Predictions: Best Actor

Click on the picture for a direct link to the trailer. 


September 9th Update.


This category is absolutely stacked this year, like always. There's a lot of ways to go. Right now, this is what I'm thinking. 

1. Robert Redford- All is Lost
 Robert Redford All is Lost
Redford is the frontrunner right now. All is Lost is a one man show and Redford brings it. He hasn't been nominated as an actor since 1974, so this would represent his comeback.

2. Matthew McConaughey- Dallas Buyers Club
 Matthew McConaughey Dallas Buyers Club, Matthew McConaughey Oscar
McConaughey has been on a roll lately. He lost 40 pounds for the role of an AIDs patient in Dallas Buyers Club. It's an Academy friendly story and powerhouse performance that will be rewarded.

3. Chiwetal Ejiofor- 12 Years a Slave
 Chiwetal Ejiofor 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave
12 Years a Slave is looking like a serious contender. The film and Ejiofor have received outstanding reviews so far. He plays a free man is is abducted and sold into slavery in this incredible true story.

4. Tom Hanks- Captain Phillips
 Tom Hanks Captain Phillips, Tom Hanks Captain Phillips Oscar
Hanks plays Captain Richard Phillips. It's the true story detailing the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years. Early word has been great.

5. Leonardo DiCaprio- The Wolf of Wall Street
 Leonardo DiCaprio The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio Martin Scorese 
DiCaprio and Scorsese have had great success in the past. Earlier in the year, DiCaprio said this was one of the best things he's ever done. Still, it's a crowded field and the film hasn't been screened yet. A lot can change.

Other Possibilities

6. Bruce Dern- Nebraska

7. Forest Whitaker- The Butler

8. Joaquin Phoenix- Her

9. Steve Carrel- Foxcatcher

10. Christian Bale- American Hustle

Coming soon: Best Director

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Spectacular Now (2013)

The Spectacular Now tells the story of Sutter Keely, a popular hard-partying high school senior, and his quest to live in the "now." He doesn't have plans for the future, and frankly, he doesn't care. After being dumped by his girlfriend, he meets Aimme Finicky, "the nice girl" and things start to change.

 The Spectacular Now movie, Shaliene Woodley dance

Sutter (Miles Teller) doesn't want to grow up, he wants to continue living his life in the same way he always has. He's been having the time of his life for the last four years and doesn't want it to stop. Aimme (Shailene Woodley) is the shy nice girl that grabs Sutter's attention. She's a good student who has plans for the future.

 The Spectacular Now movieAimme represents something different for Sutter, and he's something different for her. At first glance, they're complete opposites, but they're drawn together. For Aimme, it's her first romance, and it's fascinating to watch.

The film is filled with great performances, including a small role from Kyle Chandler as Sutter's estranged father. But Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley shine. They both deliver knockout performances.

 Spectacular Now gif, Shaliene Woodley gif
Woodley received a lot of attention for playing George Clooney's daughter in The Descesendants, but she shows she can handle her own here. Teller surprised me. He delivers the performance of his young career so far. These are star making performances by these young actors.

The Spectacular Now is a, well, spectacular coming of age story.  We really get a sense of what these characters are going through and it all seems genuine and real. It captures what it's truly like to be a high school senior. It's the point in our lives where we need to stop being a kid and start growing up. It's a major turning point in life when the future becomes the now. The Spectacular Now highlights this phase of life better than I've seen in while.

The Spectacular Now is a sweet, genuine, funny, romantic, heartbreaking, and uplifting story. It highlights all the hardships and heartbreak and happiness that comes with high school and relationships. The Spectacular Now is one of the best films of the year so far.

 Spectacular Now scene

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Oscar Predictions: Best Actress

Click the image for a direct link to the trailer for the film. 


September 4th Update.

It now looks like Meryl Streep is indeed going lead for August: Osage County. In my previous predictions, I had her going supporting. I'll update that next time around. For now...

1. Cate Blanchett- Blue Jasmine
 Cate Blanchett Blue Jasmine
Cate Blanchett looks like the clear frontrunner so far. Reviews have called her performance a career best. In a career that's already brought her an Oscar win, that's saying something.

2. Sandra Bullock- Gravity
 Sandra Bullock Gravity movie
Gravity looks like a major Oscar player after the recent screenings. The word has been outstanding so far. Reviews have raved Bullock, calling it a career best for her as well. She seems pretty safe for now.

3. Amy Adams- American Hustle
 Amy Adams American Hustle
Amy Adams could finally be making the leap for a nomination in the lead category. This category is tough right now. 8 of the 10 possibilities I have listed have already won Oscars. I have to think someone will be nominated who hasn't won before. Adams seems like the safest bet right now.

4. Nicole Kidman- Grace of Monaco
Nicole-Kidman Grace-Kelly, Nicole Kidman Grace of Monaco
Nicole Kidman in a period piece about a classical character, what's not to like? The Academy loves these type of roles. She plays former Hollywood star Grace Kelly in Grace of Monaco.

5. Kate Winslet- Labor Day
 Kate Winslet Labor Day, Jason Reitman Labor Day
Kate Winslet is one of the best actresses of this generation. Early word on her performance in Labor Day has been great. She already has 6 nominations, I wouldn't count her out for another one. 

Other possibilities

6. Emma Thompson- Saving Mr. Banks

7. Julia Roberts- August: Osage County

8. Berenice Bejo- The Past

9. Naomi Watts- Diana

10.Judi Dench- Philomena

Coming Soon: Best Actor.