Random Factoid #576

29 06 2015
IMG_1406

Freshman year

I recently graduated from college, and I will miss it for a number of reasons.  But one I did not realize until recently was how much I am going to miss the easy dorm room decor.  For me, it was all as simple as a movie poster and some sticky tack.  Now, I am actually going to have to buy frames … maybe even ones that match the color of the poster or the room.

(You might be asking how on earth I got these posters, and I’ll tell you that I was lucky to have a connection with a promoter and an exhibitor.  But if you don’t have those contacts, never fear!  Many iconic posters that you may well have seen in homes, bedrooms and offices now that they’re readily available through services like Fast Print posters.)

The posters in my room rotated from year to year, although I sadly only have pictures of freshman and senior year.

In my first year of college, I came armed with posters for two films that had yet to open, “Moneyball” and “The Ides of March.”  After the latter fell short of lofty expectations, I took it down.  For some odd reason, I turned down one of my hall-mates’ offer to buy the “Moneyball” poster for $10.  Why was I so stupid?  That would have paid for the ticket!

By sophomore year, I turned to a different mix: “The Social Network” and “Hitchcock,” with smaller posters for “Les Misérables,” “Black Swan,” “127 Hours,” and “Skyfall” adorning my radiator.  I mean, why have any white space?

I spent first semester of my junior year abroad in a dorm room where I was not allowed to hang anything on my walls.  That spirit, I suppose, came back home with me for second semester.  I hardly had any posters because most of them had torn and frayed from being well-loved.  When someone visited my room and saw the sparse decoration, they compared it to a prison cell.  I later added a “12 Years a Slave” poster, but that did little to alleviate things since it had a primarily white background.

Senior Year

Senior Year

Senior year, though, I went all out.  At one point, I had five 27×40 posters adorning the walls in my room, plus one in my closet and three smaller posters scattered throughout.  Oh, and a “22 Jump Street” poster in my suite common area.

The senior showcase included:

I only kept a few of these, knowing that the potential for them to actually hang in my apartment after graduation was slim.  Besides, I have much nicer framed Cannes Film Festival posters from my two years attending the event.

Movie posters served as a convenient expression of my taste in college, where no one cared if anything was ornate or fancy.  Now, I am going to have to step up my game to communicate the same thing about myself with pieces of paper that serve more as “art” than a piece of “marketing material.”





REVIEW: The Ides of March

8 10 2011

George Clooney’s “The Ides of March” makes plenty of references to the brokenness of the American political system, something you can observe by merely turning on the news nowadays.  But perhaps the most problematic indicator of the nation’s shortcomings is how easily the film can be read as a black comedy.  Clooney and co-writer Grant Heslov’s script is chock full of cruel ironies, many of which are veiled references to various political scandals.  And the very liberal Clooney is all too happy to throw Bill Clinton, and to some extent, Barack Obama, under the bus.

In an era where Congressmen send lewd pictures over Twitter, governors have foreign mistresses, and presidents act improperly with interns, is it possible that we’ve become so desensitized to scandal that we have just accepted that the system will fail us?  “The Ides of March,” with its grandiose plot of political intrigue, seems to imply yes by the lengths it has to go to shock us.  And in 2011, when public opinion seems to have turned against the establishment, this may be the movie people watch in the future to see American disillusionment and the failure of Obama’s hope and change rhetoric.

Read the rest of this entry »





Shameless Advertisement #25 – October 2011

1 10 2011

Well, it’s October!  Doesn’t it feel like just yesterday I showed you all those trailers for October releases and the month was still an abstract concept?  (OK, it was basically three days ago.)  Well, you all voted on what looked like the best bet being released this month, and the consensus was on “The Ides of March.”  Here’s how I primed you all to like it:

“The best of the month may come in its first weekend with ‘The Ides of March,’ a political thriller written, produced, and directed by George Clooney, who also puts in some time in front of the camera.  The real star is Ryan Gosling as a campaign manager torn between opposing sides of a presidential race.  The movie will surely have important and relevant implications for the way that the modern campaign is run and will no doubt be a major player in the Oscar race this year.  Even if it’s just an early check on your best of 2011 laundry list, this has to be a must-see for every cinephile.”

And since I didn’t give September its fair shake (sorry, college called), here’s what the readership of “Marshall and the Movies” thought would be best to highlight, “50/50.”  (It was a tie with “Drive” and I didn’t like it as much.)  Here’s an excerpt from my review, in case you missed it on Thursday.

“’50/50′ is of that transcendant category of movies about the human experience.  It takes us through all the messiness that ensues when cancer interferes with our everyday lives with an incredibly even keel.  The movie can switch from heart-wrenching to hilarious to heartening on a dime, largely to due to Reiser’s very personal script but also thanks to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s incredibly powerful performance.”

Here’s what you have to look forward to this month from “Marshall and the Movies!”

The return of the OSCAR MOMENT.  It’s that time of the year.  Get excited.  First predictions of the year out on Monday.  I don’t know how I’m going to do the individual columns this year, but they will come fast and furious.

Review after review after review.  I have two Post-It notes on my dashboard with the movies I have left to review.  My goal is to get them all in before the end of the year.  We’ll see if that’s possible.

Lists.  They are easy to do.  Expect them to pop up more frequently.





WTLFT: October 2011

28 09 2011

Can I get a collective “WHOOP WHOOP” for my return from the first month of college hiatus? [pause] If any of you all are still out there (doubtful), you can be louder!  So I’ll need you to comment (shameless plug for commenting).

While I’m on my winning streak of humor, I’ll funnel this goodwill into making you read my post about what to look forward to in October.  Reviews will be coming soon for “50/50,” “Drive,” and “Warrior” with hopes that I’ll find time to squeeze in “The Debt,” “Contagion,” and “Moneyball” somehow between classes, homework, and a social life of sorts.

October is my probably my favorite month of the year, not just for the selfish reason that it’s my month of birth.  It’s a great month to be outside; I’m especially excited this year that I will be out of Texas and in a place where I can experience fall and changing seasons.  It’s also a time of changing seasons at your movie theater, out with summer leftovers and slightly dumpy September fare and in with late-year commercial fare and some early awards plays.  Here’s what 2011 has to offer us in the month of October:

October 7

The best of the month may come in its first weekend with “The Ides of March,” a political thriller written, produced, and directed by George Clooney, who also puts in some time in front of the camera.  The real star is Ryan Gosling as a campaign manager torn between opposing sides of a presidential race.  The movie will surely have important and relevant implications for the way that the modern campaign is run and will no doubt be a major player in the Oscar race this year.  Even if it’s just an early check on your best of 2011 laundry list, this has to be a must-see for every cinephile.

Meanwhile, “Real Steel” … yeah, can’t say I have the highest of hopes for that.  “Transformers” already gave me plenty of clanging metal this year.

On the other side of the tracks, there’s Juno Temple in “Dirty Girl,” a story of sexual mores in 1987 Oklahoma.  It stars Juno Temple, who will have a role in “The Dark Knight Rises,” so it may be worthwhile to see just to say you knew who she was before her breakout (if indeed she does do that).

In case you haven’t had enough Jessica Chastain this year between “The Debt,” “The Help,” and “The Tree of Life,” she also appears in “Texas Killing Fields,” which – no offense to the talent involved – looks like one of those C-list movies you’d find on the “just added” section of Netflix streaming between “Tangled” and “The Expendables.”

This weekend also brings a strange extreme with “The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence,” which looks to overcome the sequel slump by presenting a story of life imitating art (if you want to call the gross-out horror film that shocked audiences last year art).  It’s a must for sadists and horror fanatics; others would do best to just stay home.

October 14

This Friday marks my birthday … and Hollywood celebrates by releasing two remakes and a Jack Black comedy.  Mental confetti just splattered the walls of my brain.

“Men of a Certain Age” gets a big-screen adaptation after cancellation – but directed by “The Devil Wears Prada” (I’m actually being serious here) – as two aging Frat Pack comedians and the guy who has hosted “Saturday Night Live” the second most times in history go on a trip to fight their ennui by taking a trip in “The Big Year.”  Wait, maybe this is a remake …

Meanwhile, ’80s nostalgia runs rampant as “Footloose” and “The Thing” both get updated.  Note to bloggers/columnists: the question “Why aren’t the originals sufficient?” has been asked and answered dozens of times before.

Off the mainstream, “Trespass” begs the question of whether or not the Academy can revoke Nicolas Cage’s Oscar.  But on a more positive note, one of my favorite modern directors, Pedro Almodóvar, is back with his latest film, “The Skin I Live In.”  It didn’t get the strongest reviews out of Cannes, but it looks haunting and beautiful.  Plus, I’ll see just about anything he makes.

October 21

I’m legally prohibited from sharing any thoughts on “Martha Marcy May Marlene” until it hits theaters in Houston – but for now, enjoy the trailer.  And if you are really that curious about the movie, listen to “Marcy’s Song,” a tune from John Hawkes that plays briefly at the end.

How many times can we remake “The Three Musketeers?”  I’m calling it now that in 2022, the kids from “Slumdog Millionaire” will star as Athos, Porthos, and whatever Jamal’s final guess was.  Last year’s October release “Secretariat” gets remade for 2011 as “The Mighty Macs,” this time featuring the woman ahead of her time as a college basketball coach.  “Paranormal Activity 3” gets slightly creative as it goes back to the origins of the horror from the original, but it’s still a sell-out.

On the indie circuit, “Margin Call” boasts a quasi-“Contagion” level of prestige but doesn’t seem to be generating much buzz.  I guess that post-“Inside Job” and “Too Big to Fail,” recession backstories may be old and tired.

October 28

One of my biggest pet peeves is hearing about amazing movies that play at Sundance in January and then having to wait to see them until the end of the year.  Hopefully my patience will be rewarded with “Like Crazy,” the movie that everyone emerged from the festival talking about.  Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin are two hot talents rising in the industry; hopefully this catches on with the mainstream and helps their careers skyrocket.

“In Time” could be an interesting mix of high-octane popcorn blockbuster and political allegory … or the trailer just gave off false notions.  I’ll have to hover over this one for a little while before deciding what my schedule for seeing it is.

The director of “2012” and “Independence Day” is making a movie with Oscar buzz?!  In what world do we live now?  Might as well check out “Anonymous” … apparently Rhys Ifan’s performance is startlingly good.

I wasn’t a big fan of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” but “The Rum Diary” just looks like Hunter S. Thompson light.  Even with Johnny Depp back, this doesn’t look like it can drum up a lot of enthusiasm.  Speaking of not drumming up a lot of enthusiasm, how about “Johnny English Reborn?”  Waiting 8 years between installments doesn’t do you a lot of good when the original didn’t do particularly well.

So, are you more excited that I’m back burning up the blogosphere or that October is coming soon?  Take the poll, leave a comment, do whatever – but make your voice heard!