Mini Movie Reviews!

Here are three miniature movie reviews. All of them are streaming on Netflix right now, so go check them out!

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (2012)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dtfeh6a01c

This is a really awesome documentary looking into the life of Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist and social and political activist. Not only do you get a behind-the-scenes look into his art shows, you also get to see how he really sticks it to “The (Chinese) Man.” This is a dude who really hates the current political state of his country and is not afraid to say whatever he wants. It’s a super interesting and educational film exploring a true artist’s life in a country that is holding everyone else back.

8.5/10

Bellflower (2011)

Bellflower is a film that premiered at Sundance in 2011. Written and directed by Evan Glodell, it is an engrossing and visually compelling low-budget film. It is split into many chapters and the narrative structure is all over the place, yet it works extremely well. It’s about two best friends (both obsessed with Mad Max) who are in the process of making a flamethrower and a badass, souped-up muscle car for the possible future apocalypse. Throw in a love story and you’ve got the basics of Bellflower. It’s a super strange film, but it’s one that you can’t take your eyes off of.

8/10

The Tall Man (2012)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_QqA0sDMec

This is a film written and directed by Pascal Laugier. If that name isn’t ringing any bells, he directed a French/Canadian film called Martyrs that came out in 2008. It is easily one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen. So, going into The Tall Man, I was expecting to be grossed out. Instead, I was surprised to find an extremely dense and suspenseful mystery.

Looking at the poster and watching the trailer, it was obviously marketed as a horror film, yet it really isn’t a horror film at all. There is maybe one sequence filled with a few “pop out” parts, but other than that, The Tall Man is an engaging, satisfying, and surprising mystery film. Starring Jessica Biel, the film is about a town where children are constantly disappearing, thought to be taken by a mysterious entity the townspeople call the “Tall Man.” You may think you know where the film is going, but you don’t. I can understand why many people don’t like this movie, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

7.5/10

The Best Albums of 2012!

In this week’s new podcast episode (Episode 128.5), Zach, Danny, and Rob talk about their favorite albums of 2012! If you want to spoil their Top 20 lists for yourself, click to continue reading.

Enjoy comparing your favorites and/or finding some new music!

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Movie Review: Madea’s Big Happy Family (2011)

My girlfriend suckered me into a family movie night at her house on Christmas this past week. Normally I love watching movies at her house, but when she tossed Madea’s Big Happy Family onto the TV, I was immediately trying to come up with excuses to try and leave. I had never seen a Madea movie in my life and I was hoping to keep it that way forever, but unfortunately that isn’t the case anymore because I had to sit through the latest Tyler Perry joint to be added to Netflix.

This movie features Bow Wow, the Old Spice guy (Isaiah Mustafa), cross-dressing Tyler Perry, cancer, Maury Povich, marijuana, religious propaganda, and an R&B-driven black-and-white montage sequence. Not only that, this is the type of movie that toys with your emotions the entire running time. It tries to makes you angry, make you smile, make you cry, make you laugh, etc. I absolutely hate movies that do this. One minute you’re supposed to feel super sad because someone died of cancer, and then thirty seconds later you’re supposed to laugh at an 80 year old Tyler Perry screaming “Choke That Ho!”

This movie is so bad it’s crazy. The only good thing I can say about it is that Tyler Perry has really found his audience. These movies make an insane amount of money and I’m sure Tyler Perry is bathing in a tub filled with $100 bills as I’m typing this. I totally understand that I’m not the target demographic the Madea movies are trying to hit, so it makes sense that I don’t like it. Lucky for him, there are many others that currently enjoy, and will continue to enjoy, these feel-good family comedy dramas for the rest of time.

Side Note: Isaiah Mustafa is one charming man. He is the one positive thing in the movie.

2/10

Review: thinksound ts02 Headphones

I have a confession.

I’ve always used shitty headphones.

For the past few years, I’ve been listening to music either through stock Apple “earphones” or really cheap, noise-cancelling Sony headphones. It’s just never been a priority to me…which is weird because I really love listening to music. During that time, I found the best place to listen to my favorite bands was in the car (the 2005 Honda Element has a surprisingly awesome sound system). I could turn it up really loud and actually feel the bass.

My friend Brian had been telling me to get higher quality headphones for years. I was just passing it off as an unnecessary purchase. I figured my headphones were working just fine. After thinking it over and finally wanting to see what the big deal was, I finally caved and bought these thinksound ts02 “in-ear high definition” headphones.

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