Ryan, Author at Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
8Oct/150

In Appreciation: Review Season 2

Ryan reviews reviewThis season on one of the best shows on the air, I have seen the main character get shot, stabbed in the stomach, buried alive, get wrapped up in a cult, murder a man and lose many loved ones and I laughed every second.  Review is black as night comedy like nothing else on TV.  While the show follows a pattern each week with main star Forrest MacNeil (Andy Daly) review "life" for his TV show also named Review, it is impossible to guess where the show would take Forrest and the audience each week.

Review just ended its second season on Comedy Central last week and is easily going to end up in my top five best TV shows of the year.  Simply put, there is nothing else like it on TV.  Many articles have been written about how we are leaving a cycle of TV where are main protagonist was a anti-hero whom we should not root for like Walter White, Tony Soprano and Vic Mackey and Forrest fits in with them perfectly.  Unlike meth or the mob, Forrest's main downfall and destruction is his own ego and wanting to feel special.  He is on a TV show that doesn't review movies, TV, theater or music but instead life itself with such questions from his audience including "what is it like to lead a cult" "sleep with your teacher" "have the perfect body" and "murdering someone".  Forrest will then live his life using these questions and then rate what it is like using a 5 star scale.  No matter what the review might be, chances are things will end horribly for Forrest and his life will be worse than it was before.

I am a fan of really dark humor and Review fits that bill perfectly (Andrew's note: I wouldn't have found out about the excellent Cheap Thrills otherwise).  I didn't think Review could go to more uncomfortable places than season one where you saw his home life imploding slowly and painfully but it found a way.  The best episode from season one was "Pancakes, Divorce, Pancakes" which twisted the knife into Forrest slowly and then just twisted it more. I thought things couldn't be more cringe inducing then that wonderful episode but season 2 had at least 4 episodes just like it.  Forrest is a horrible cyclone of destruction on not just him but also anyone that happens to be in his path.  His ex-wife has seen her whole life upended at least twice and at one point makes a smart choice to move her and her son out of town and away from her ex and his show.  In this season Forrest also destroys other people's marriages, destroys whole lives, inadvertently murders a handful of people and burns down two separate houses of family members.  There is no doubt that Forrest is the villain of this show and it is even worse because he never comes to realize this or he is too delusional to come to terms with it.

30May/150

Tomorrowland (2015)

What happened to the future?  Where is the technological utopia the '50s and '60s hinted at?  Director Brad Bird tells a story about this land which never was in Tomorrowland.

Glimpse of tomorrowI wanted Tomorrowland to be good and I was hoping for the best. I am a very optimistic person and wish and hope for the best in most situations.  While it’s not sexy to have movies full of hope, when done well (Cameron Crowe is the best at this) they work on me better than any type of movie.  Although I had seen the lukewarm response I thought it might be because the movie was wearing its heart on its sleeve so I went in with an open mind.  What I ended it up with was a movie that had a lot going for it but was ultimately let down by a paper thin script.

The story of Tomorrowland is about a parallel world where all the greatest minds from our world could go to and work out all the day's problems.  It is a utopia of all white buildings, clean streets and happy/smiling citizens.  Frank Walker is a smart kid who creates a close to working jetpack and submits it for a $50 prize at the 1964 World’s Fair.  He doesn’t win and is ridiculed by one of the judges named Nix (Hugh Laurie) but does win the attention of a young girl named Athena.  Athena (Raffey Cassidy) is smitten by Frank and tries to convince Nix to give Frank an invite which he shoots down. Athena goes on and gives Frank a Tomorrowland pin anyway and during a ride on Small World (this is a Disney film) Frank is taken to a ship which transports him to Tomorrowland.

After this prologue, we meet Casey (Britt Roberston) a spunky teenage genius who isn’t happy that her dad’s job at NASA is ending.  She goes out to the work site where they are dismantling the NASA shuttle and tries to sabotage the plans.  She gets caught and arrested and after posting bail, she is given a pin that is not her own.  Once she touches this pin, the same kind that Frank had earlier, she is given a vision on the shiny, happy Tomorrowland and starts a quest to figure out how to get there.

30May/150

Excerpt from Father’s Day: To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

Over the next few days, Ryan offers a preview of his new e-book, Love and Family at 24 Frames Per Second: Fatherhood and Films Passed Down Through the Generations.

OverallWhen I was a boy, I was no different from most young kids in thinking that my dad was a superhero. He could run really fast (and still can at 65), lift heavy objects, fix cars, and knew just about everything. I envisioned my dad as James Bond or John McClane, a larger-than-life hero who was too cool for the rest of the world. As I grew up, I realized my dad wasn’t a superhero; he couldn’t defeat countless ninjas with his bare hands, and he was as human as the rest of us. I started to see my dad not as James Bond, but as Atticus Finch. And that is the greatest compliment that I could give him.

Atticus Finch is the father in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, but for me he will always be Gregory Peck from the 1962 film version of the book. I believe that Peck gives one of the top 10 performances of all time in this film and is the template for what we all hope and dream our dads can be—or what we can be as parents. Peck was a towering figure with his broad 6-foot-3 frame and booming voice and played the hero very well. Yet in To Kill a Mockingbird he had to be a sweet and loving father while at the same time a beacon of righteousness that the whole town could get behind. This role could have gone wrong in a number of ways because seeing a paragon go about his day can be preachy and outright dull. Yet Peck and director Robert Mulligan tone down Atticus’s hero status and show a man just trying to get through each day.

28May/150

Excerpt from Father’s Day: Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Over the next few days, Ryan offers a preview of his new e-book, Love and Family at 24 Frames Per Second: Fatherhood and Films Passed Down Through the Generations.

OverallI really don’t like Walt Disney’s version of Beauty and the Beast. I didn’t like it when it first came out when I was a kid, and I don’t like it now. There are many reasons for this, including not caring for any of the characters, finding the story weird, and not falling in love with the songs. I watched the movie when it came out in the 1990s, didn’t see what the fuss was about, and didn’t think about it for years. While it is my least favorite Disney animated film from this period of renaissance for Disney, it is the one I have now seen the most. The reason? I am a parent, and it was my daughter’s favorite movie for a while; therefore, I have seen it more than any other film on earth.

My choices on a typical night would be (A) put on Beauty and the Beast and wait for my daughter to fall asleep, or (B) don’t put on the movie and fight all night to get her to sleep, which resulted in an enormous amount of crying and screaming from a very loud toddler. Most nights I went with option A, but sometimes I picked crying and screaming over the first few notes of the opening song. My daughter’s wailing was horrible to listen to, but I was having an allergic reaction to the song “Belle” after a few months. Every night, I would hear the first line, “Little town, it’s a quiet village, every day like the one before,” and know that for the next 90 minutes I would be hearing the songs and seeing the action from the film, and there was no escape.

Monday: “Little town, it’s a quiet village, every day like the one before . . .”
Tuesday: “Little town, it’s a quiet village, every day like the one before . . .”
Wednesday: “Little town, it’s a quiet village, every day like the one before . . .”

16Feb/150

Video Bomb Episode 2: Sponge Out of Water

Ryan COMMENTARY w/ Rating

This is Ryan again with another episode of Video Bomb.  My daughter is a huge fan of Spongebob so she wanted to do a review of Sponge Out of Water.  She is a big fan of the TV show and was excited to see the movie and to talk to everyone about it.