Movie Review (The Dark Knight)

I have already watched the whole Dark Knight trilogy, and they are some of my favorite action movies ever, especially The Dark Knight. I haven’t seen it in quite a while, so I decided to rewatch it for the first time, and I was still incredibly impressed. I think Christopher Nolan is a tad overrated, but he does a fantastic job with this movie. Every scene is so visually stunning, and just totally captivating. The fights and action scenes are great; they’re crazy but not over the top where it becomes totally unrealistic. As an avid comic book reader when I was a child, Nolan brings out the grim atmosphere from the comics into this film amazingly. The cast is almost amazing. Every actor perfects there role, especially Heath Ledger (RIP). He was an amazing actor and his performance as the Joker is one of the best villain performances ever. It’s incredibly raw and he played it perfeclyt. The narrative is also really well done for any movie, but very superior to other superhero movies. The drama is realistic and is written and acted in a sincere way, and there is a lot of depth within the plot. Overall, it is the best superhero movie ever and one of the best action movies. This movie is a masterpiece and earns a 5/5 from me.

Movie Review (Tokyo Drifter)

I am a fan of Seijun Suzuki after watching Branded to Kill, but I enjoyed Tokyo Drifter a little more. It’s a real unique take on a mob film, or rather the yakuza. I really enjoyed the narrative, and I think Tetsu is a great character. With Suzuki, the narrative is always going to be absurd, and this was the case here. But in this movie, I just think it played out overall better than Branded to Kill. In Tokyo Drifter, you can really relate to Tetsu. The plot overall is more interesting and emotional. Nonetheless, Suzuki’s jarring style makes the movie funny and special. I really likes the use of color in this film and it really creates a cool atmosphere in many scenes. The shots are fun and really make the movie more lively. In addition, the soundtrack really elevates the movie and plays a role in itself which is really fun to watch. It’s also great to listen too! I give this movie a 4/5, it’s not quite perfect, but fairly close. I’m a mob movie fan, but this genre can be over saturated. This movie shows that there’s more to be done within the genre. I highly recommend it to someone who feels the same way about mob movies, and hopefully you find this movie unlike others.

Movie Review (Hereditary)

I have heard quite a lot of things about this movie, for better or for worse, and finally watched Ari Aster’s debut feature. I am a fan fan of the horror genre, although I get scared easily myself. However, with my friend’s high praise of this film, I finally sat down and watched it with them. Right away I liked Aster’s style and it definitely elevated the movie. He uses interesting and sometimes unconventional shots which creates a sense of uncomfortableness that adds to the horror. However, his captivating and suspenseful direction can only help the narrative so much. I’ll give this movie credit, it was very scary and uncomfortable. But it was not much more than that. There was a real lack of depth within the characters and the narrative in general. It just was scary scene after scary scene and it was truly scary, and it came off naturally. But it really just lacked depth and conflict which really makes horror movies special. It just didn’t truly move me besides me being scared. It played too much into the horror movie tropes and didn’t offer anything truly special. Nonetheless, it still scared me and was better than most modern horror movies and therefore earns a 3/5. I just didn’t really offer anything special that other horror movies have provided.

Movie Review (The Stranger)

The Stranger (1946) is my first film I have seen by Orson Welles and I really enjoyed it. I really enjoy film noirs and this was one of the best ones I have seen. Other noirs sometimes try to accomplish too much and leave the viewer confused or underwhelmed, but this was not the case with this film. The narrative was good, not incredibly unique, but creative with enough suspense to really keep the viewer entertained at all times. It does a good job with the pacing and as noirs usually go, there is always tension in every scene. However this plot ascends to a more art house film with Welles’ direction. His interesting, scary shots and beautiful use of lighting really captivates the anxiety in every scene. His over all cinematography really elevates the somewhat fascinating plot to the next level. Therefore, I really enjoyed every second of this film and it ears a 4/5 from me. It just misses that touch of truly creative genius that really makes a film a masterpiece. Nonetheless, this is a classic film noir that I recommend to any fan of the genre.

TV Review (High Maintenance)

I have been very busy and therefore haven’t been watching as much TV as I would like to. However, TV is one of my favorite forms of media/art and I still watch as much as I can. I recently finished the current (4) seasons of HBO’s High Maintenance and really enjoyed it. I am pretty picky when it comes to TV, and even more when it’s a comedy show. Nowadays every comedy show has the same plot more or less and is banal. This show was super unique and really funny and honestly often emotional. Each episode is its own short story, while there is still some overall linear progression. We follow a drug dealer in NYC and this show does a good job of staying true to modern NYC culture and every episode is a little different. We learn about some different people and it’s really like if people watching is a show except it goes a little more in depth. It’s super beautiful how it explores the lives of the many people in NYC. From this it can be raw and touching through these different short stories. Nonetheless, it’s still a comedy at heart. The humor is mature but funny which is my favorite form of comedy. This show gets a 5/5 from me and I recommend it highly if you liked Atlanta or Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Movie Review (Stalker)

This is the best directed movie I have ever seen, and one of my new favorites. Andrei Tarkovsky created one of the best pieces of art I have ever experienced. His visuals and cinematography are unmatched. Every scene is beautiful and totally ethereal. It really elevates this contemplative film to just pure art. It’s kind of hard to describe his style though. He makes unconventional angles conventional. Words truly can not do it justice. Good art should do exactly that, indescribable, and thats what Tarkovsky created. The narrative is also a masterpiece. Its very introspective and intelligent which I always enjoy, but combined with the sci-fi aspects, it creates a super unique film. I think each of three main characters are all super well written and acted, and combined create a super compelling story that really questions are desires and what they mean. They do so in a fresh take with the sci-fi aspects and just the maturity of the dialogue and characters. I give this movie a 5/5 for it truly is a beautiful work of art and quite easily one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

Book Discussion (The Picture of Dorian Gray)

This was my first novel from Oscar Wilde, and having heard a lot of good things from my Mother and Morrisey, I had high expectations. However, these expectations were short of how much The Picture of Dorian Gray moved me. After reading the brief introduction in the book of the novel and about Oscar Wilde, I found him truly fascinating. He was a true progressive, and a person that I relate too. He was a true pioneer in the aesthetic movement which is something I enjoy. Anyways, this novel was truly beautiful. Wilde’s style is filled with beautiful imagery, emotional narrations, and a sense that every word is delicately chosen. This allows for each scene to really come a live in my head, and while reading every sentence there’s something to dissect and think about. Wilde is not afraid to discuss controversial topics like moral, density, age, and sexuality at a time when said topics were taboo. He truly wrote to help the reader discover about himself, and he did just that for me. All of his characters are truly human and all relatable. I honestly find Lord Henry my favorite character. While he is not necessarily a good person, he would argue that moral doesn’t not exist. His speeches and dialogue are written so well and truly tap in to human life. Dorian is also a great protagonist. Wilde’s attempt at magical realism is well done for it being one of the first times used, and makes the story more creative. Dorians progression is one of the best progessions I have read, and in the similar aspect as Lord Henry but in different ways, taps in to dark human thought and really explores it. The whole story is truly beautiful and moving. Wilde’s classic and gothic style is amazing to read and never escapes my attention. The themes and how they are discussed is truly the highlight of this novel. After reading, it has really changed the way I approach my life and gave it less meaning for the better.

Movie Review (Ghost in the Shell)

Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell is a beautifully animated cyberpunk movie that is filled with action and filled with introspective themes. The animation of this movie is truly gorgeous. The 80’s animation style is my favorite and is really showcased in well. Combined with the cinematic setting shots, it creates a very visually pleasing film. In addition, the story telling is also really well done. While it can be confusing at times, I usually figured it out pretty fast. The story is very Blade Runner-esque in the idea that man and machine live together and explores the idea of human conscience. I thought Major, the main character was very well written and honestly somewhat relatable. The narrative as a whole is pretty complex but is just super unique and its short run time keeps the viewer engaged at all times. However, at the end I felt like it was a little to intricate to fully enjoy. For that, I have to give it a 3/5. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it and just is a super cool film. I recommend it if you like Akira or Blade Runner.

Book Discussion (Cat’s Cradle)

My friend (thanks William!) recommended me this book, and after reading I was very surprised on how much I enjoyed this novel. I was unfamiliar with Kurt Vonnegut, but after reading Cat’s Cradle, I already want to read more from him and wasn’t surprised it was my friends favorite book. The comedic and satirical aspects of this book are hilarious and really had me laughing. Its mature humor and wit, which is my preferred style of comedy, make every joke funny in a sophisticated, introspective way. This really compliments with Vonneguts unique style of dialogue and storytelling. The dialogue and narration is raw, blunt, and simple yet mature. The storytelling is the same way. It’s lucid but filled with humor and enough sophistication that truly makes the novel a page turner. Overall, his style is extremely enjoyable and pairs well with his humor. However, this novel offers much more than that. I was pleasantly surprised with the other themes within this book- science, religion, human nature, etc. Vonnegut never dives super deep within this categories, yet includes enough detail for the reader to fill with their own opinion to make the book more personal and interesting which I though was amazing. In conclusion, every aspect of this book compliments each other to create a super hilarious and harmonious story. This was truly a special book and is already one of my favorites. I highly recommend this book to everyone!

Album of the Week

This weeks music selection isn’t really an album, it’s singles from Playboi Carti’s early soundcloud career (these are often dubbed the red cover singles because all these songs have a solid red cover). Rap was the first genre of music I got into and still holds a place in my heart. However, only being a teenager, I grew up with a different sound of rap than those older than me. Many people are quick to trash this mumble rap but I beg to differ. Carti is one of the first in this scene and I became quickly obsessed. His hazy trap beats, relaxed voice, and his persona were all so attractive to me as a young kid. I couldn’t never really relate to his lyrics, but they were so cool and flashy to me. His early singles such as Smash and By Myself/ No Help remain my favorites to this day and really stuck out to me. My friends bash me for liking these, claiming it sounds like everybody else, it’s not lyrical enough, etc. I’m not here to defend myself or try to make you love Carti, I just think he deserves more recognition. His sounds are beautiful and really are distinct to me. His production choice is incredible, his beats are trap influenced, but still provide a hazy feel. His flow matches well with this beats to create an atmospheric sound that is different than modern rappers. His old music will forever be special to me as he introduced me too many aspects of modern culture, so I may be bias, but I still think he is a talented rapper who is very enjoyable to listen too.