Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1803 - A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

I forgot about this film until I was in a conversation with a friend the other day.  Nothing beats a flick with a catchy title.  A group of friends who have a weekend place that's famous for their constant parties runs the risk of losing their party spot and decides upon a big blow-out by way of an orgy. 
The film's got a great cast and there's some funny stuff going on inside.  I have to say I was delightfully surprised with how all-out the ending gets, but I was also a little disappointed that there wasn't more going on outside of the premise.  Some fun characters, but I never really felt like I got to know their issues, or that this weekend really meant anything to any of them in the long run.  I would have liked to have seen some more heart and a clearer resolution.  It's a good comedy that could have been pretty great, especially considering the talent involved.  Alas.  If you like late-night comedies give it a whirl!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

1802 - Sex After Kids

Am I reviewing my own film?  No.  But I always do a write up following a first public screening, so here it is. 
I'd love to say that it was a long road to get this film here, but it wasn't really - not when you compare it to most films.  It was just a few days more than a year ago that I even decided that I wanted to make a film about this subject - and now here we are, a very successful world premiere under our belts, and we continue moving forward.
We had our World Premiere last Saturday at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival to a sold-out audience.  They actually had to turn people away, which is sad, but kind of awesome as well.  It's nice to be a part of something that people are really excited to see!  The audience had a great reaction and the room was full of laughter.  We had a great Q&A after the screening, and just a general good time over-all. 
In lieu of doing my own review I'm going to attach some comments that have been posted on Santa Barbara's site.  Here's the link to it and feel free to go and rank the film yourself:
Like LaLonde's previous film, this is a funny, yet mature and touching film that will undoubtedly nip and tug at some sort of core emotion in many people.
What a fantastic movie! Funny, edgy, raw and yet touching. My husband and I laughed until we cried. Jeremy Lalonde has taken an ensemble cast of extremely talented actors and actresses and made a gem of a movie!

So often in ensemble films, certain plot lines get pushed aside in favor of others, so it was great to see a movie where every family is given pretty much equal importance and screen time. Witty dialogue, likeable characters, and a realistic premise make for a feel good film.
Okay - enough self congratulations.  If you're in the southern states - we've still got two screenings this upcoming weekend in Santa Barbara - get your ass out!

1801 - My Awkward Sexual Adventure

I was really excited when I found out that this was also screening at SBIFF, but even more excited when I saw I'd be there for it on the same evening that it's stars and director were in attendance and excited that I got to get to know them a bit subsequently following the screening. But enough about me talking about me. 
Lovable loser Jordan (Jonas Chernick) is a terrible lover and his girlfriend decides that enough is enough.  He heads off to Toronto for business and ends up getting connected to the typical stripper with a heart of gold, but luckily for us this time it's played by the always enjoyable Emily Hampshire.  I made the remark that this would be a great double-bill beside my film SEX AFTER KIDS - and technically it was on the Saturday night of the festival.  There's a lot to like about this film - it's funny on a consistent basis and Chernick and Hampshire are dynamite together on screen.  Emily has this absolutely unique blend of nerd and sexy that really shines here.  She's the kind of girl who you want to pal around with, but probably can't help but be attracted to.  I don't want to give away anything in the story - especially since it's in theatres soon.  I had a couple very minor quibbles with the story, but not enough to really get into it here.  For a late-night comedy it does exactly as you need it to - it's fast, funny, and quite fresh.  Go see it because it's Canadian, but support it because it's pretty damn great on top of that!

1800 - Caesar Must Die

Another film I caught at the Santa Barbara Film Festival was this unique adaptation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.  The backdrop is this - a high-security is putting on a production of Julius Caesar with it's inmates acting as the actors.  Through the course of the film we watch them rehearse, all leading up to the performance, and through all of that we get the actual play alongside the commentary of the prisoners as they find ways to relate to the material. 
It's a pretty unique idea, right?  Sadly it was too much in the middle for me.  I would have preferred if it was just Julius Caesar set in a men's prison, or if it was more about the prisoners putting on the play, but with some more personal b-story.  It met the ideas in the middle and I think, suffered for it.  I believe this film has actually been around for a few years at this point, and not sure how else one could see it.  If you're a big Shakespear nerd then you'll probably want to check this out just because.  Not sure I can highly recommend it to anyone outside of that circle.

1799 - Disconnect

A few days behind on this.  This was the opening night film at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, of which I attended with my feature SEX AFTER KIDS.  Like our film it was an ensemble, unlike ours it was a heavy drama centered around the theme of... I guess, the internet, and how by being connected to this web we're disconnected from our humanity.  Pretty heavy stuff.  The material is intense and could have been melodramatic if not for a cast of extremely talented actors.  There's some great timely material, the most interesting being that of cyber-bullying, but it also extends to relationships in chat-rooms, identity theft, and cyber-sex.  Given that it's so heavy it was a surprising choice, to me, for an opening night film given that it's intended to create a tone for the festival - although perhaps that's exactly what they were going for.
Not sure when this is coming out otherwise, but if you like heavy human drama you'll probably dig this - if you prefer lighter fare this might just be a tad too intense for your liking.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

1798 - The Hunger Games

Okay.  So clearly I'm way late to the party on this one, and I haven't read the books.  I was going into this expecting something a lot more polished and glitzy and I was pleasantly surprised.  The filming style lent itself well to the story and characters.  I found myself engaged - I knew Katniss would make it out just fine given that this is part of a trilogy, but I was still pretty damn invested in seeing how she would do.
So I'm probably not going to say anything that hasn't already been said, but if you were skeptical of all the hype, so was I, and I absolutely enjoyed it and look forward to the next in the series.  I doubt I'll run to the theatre on the first weekend, but I'll probably try to check it out during it's opening run.  For those who haven't seen it, it's on netflix now.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

1797 - Mission Impossibe: Ghost Protocol

This was a film I knew I wanted to see eventually but wasn't really dying to see in the theatres.  Glad it came onto netflix.  Here's the thing about a film like this - the plot is convoluted and whatnot and I really don't put a whole hell of a lot of stock into that - what I want from a film like this is to be entertained by stunts and spectacle and it delivers fully on that.  Brad Bird does a hell of a job on his first live-action effort.  What I liked was how this really brought together a lot of elements from the previous films and made it so it felt like a full universe.  I hope the franchise continues chugging along - I'm in for the next!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

1796 - Robin Hood

For some reason or other I still had this on my list for - yes I'm still a member - 'cause I have the dirt cheap package and still get new releases faster than netflix - the second that changes - I'm out!  No offense,
Once I settled into realizing that this was pure origin story and we wouldn't be getting the typical Robin Hood in the forest story, I was okay with it.  Although, truth be told, I'd watch a sequel to see what they did with that character in this world.  I like the film enough, I didn't love it.  I thought the politics with the French were just a bit much, I wasn't really interested in that so much I was England's internal turmoil.  I like that King John outlaws him because of jealousy and ego, and that makes him all the more celebrated still.
So if you like your big action flicks with a sense of literary flare, this might be right up your alley. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sex After Kids goodies!

So today some of our cast decided to throw me for a loop and start a twitter fire that resulted in us getting over 1,000 likes on our Facebook page.  Originally I'd stated that we'd post a trailer when that happened, but it caught me a tad by surprise.  And so I decided to up it and offer something in addition if we reached 1,500 by days end.  That didn't quite happen - but holy shit did you guys deliver regardless.  At least count it was over 1,300 and that's not bad for a days work - so I'm going to give you guys the some thing special anyway.

Below are two different sized Sex After Kids desktop wall paper.  Designed by the very talented Lourdes Ruiz!  Hope you enjoy it and keep your eyes peeled for the trailer - coming ASAP!!! Click to get full sized!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Walking Dead: 17 - Something To Fear

I'm a little behind on this bad-boy and some NINNY online ruined something in it for me, but here I am.  And in the good faith I like to put forth - because we're so far along in this comic series there will be SPOILERS AHEAD.  It's amazing.  Read it.  That is all.

So the last book left us on what was probably the most optimistic note the book has ever taken, there was a real sense of hope.  And it was the job of this book to take that hope and crush it.  Not only crush it, but smash it's head in until it was unrecognizable - which is exactly what happened, horrifically to a character that's been around the series for a very very very long time.  In a series filled with devastating deaths this one might be the worst - and sadly I didn't really get to experience it fresh since I knew it was coming.  Alas!

I love where this story is heading.  I was getting worried that we were getting to a point where I didn't know what other tricks Kirkman could pull out of his bag, and this just shows how much left there is to explore in his world and it excites me to no end.  I love that the comic and the series exist in such unique parallels and they play off each other, but don't force themselves into each other.  My only complaint that, as fast as it does come out, that it doesn't come out even faster.

Keep it coming Robert Kirkman, I'll be right here waiting for it.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

1795 - This is 40

I'm a big fan of Judd Apatow - I like how much he throws himself into and this little empire and network of people that he's created - it's quite something.  Throw that and Paul Rudd into the mix and I'm a happy camper.  This is by no means a perfect film.  And it's not for everyone - if you like slice-of-life family drama that connects pretty deeply, you'll dig it - but if you like big stakes then I imagine a film about middle class white people not being able to afford their amazing lifestyle isn't going to quite do it for you.  And that's fine too.
The Apatow "method" of improv heavy films has never been quite so obvious as it is here - and I'm not passing judgement or suggesting that it doesn't largely work, but at the same time I find it difficult to justify the running time for this sort of film.  There's no need for a 2hr, 14 minute film about a mid-life crisis comedy.  Good for Judd for getting away with it, but I think that this is a film that could benefit from a good deal of pruning.  As it is I like it, but I probably could have loved it.
If you've liked his previous films, this one is worth checking out - although I feel like it's his less heart-filled film.  At the end I don't know if I felt like Pete and Debbie so much resolved their issues as they just stopped bitching at each other about their current problems.  I sound like I didn't like the film, but I swear I did.  Can't wait for the special features that'll be loaded to the tits on the BluRay.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

1794 - Friends With Kids

I wanted to see this while it was in theatres, especially since it appeared to be within the same realm of my new film (get ready for the shamless plug) SEX AFTER KIDS.  And while our films live in similar worlds this is more of the boy meets girl variety (or rather boy met girl a long time ago and is now going to fuck up what they've got going on).
This film has a powerhouse cast and everyone works really well, although I think Kristen Wiig was underused.  Without getting into any spoilers, because this is a film worth discovering fresh, I loved about the first 90% of it and just felt a tad let down by the ending.  That's not to say I didn't enjoy it all the way through but it does peter out a touch.  That being said, the other 90% absolutely makes it worth watching (I swear!) especially if you're a parent, there's a lot of great stuff in here.  Jennifer Westfeldt should make more movies - I'm a fan!  And if you see this and adore it go back to the vault and check out a previous film she wrote (or co-wrote...) called Kissing Jessica Stein.  This is currently on Netflix - so have at it!

2012: a year of films

I don't do top ten lists, mostly because I just don't want to put the agonizing work into what it takes to create them and really think about the choices.  Instead, what I like to do is present a list of the films I saw for the first time this year, in the order that I enjoyed them.  Which means that you're going to see films that might be several decades old in this list - that's just the way it is.  If you want to know more about my thoughts you can find my little mini-reviews of all of these by either typing in the search or scrolling down the archive on the side. And keep in mind that if I were to make this list tomorrow there's a good chance that the order might very well change to some degree, so there's that...
  1. Django Unchained
  2. Argo
  3. Goon
  4. The Avengers
  5. Wendy & Lucy
  6. Les Miserables
  7. Cabin in the Woods
  8. Looper
  9. Take This Waltz
  10. Molly Maxwell
  11. The Fisher King
  12. The Dark Knight Rises
  13. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
  14. Cedar Rapids
  15. Newlyweds
  16. Captain America: The First Avenger
  17. Brave
  18. The Groomsmen
  19. Young Adult
  20. Terri
  21. Forks Over Knives
  22. Her Master's Voice
  23. The Girlfriend Experience
  24. Super 8
  25. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
  26. Chloe
  27. Law Abiding Citizen
  28. To Rome With Love
  29. Romantics Anonymous
  30. X-Men: First Class
  31. Being Elmo
  32. Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging
  33. Hannah Takes the Stairs
  34. Conception
  35. Foolproof
  36. The Sitter
  37. Uncle Kent
  38. Limitless
  39. This Means War
  40. Growing Op
  41. The Outsider
  42. Did You Hear About the Morgans?
  43. Teenage Paparazzo
  44. I Love Your Work
  45. The Mechanical Bride
  46. The Job

Now - what were some of your favorites???