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What to watch on Netflix: Winter Break

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What to watch on Netflix: Winter Break


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What has no stress, three weeks of free time and relaxation? Winter break. ‘Tis the season for the end of the semester. A perfect idea to enjoy your time off is to watch Netflix! Here is a list of worthy movies and television shows to watch.

Action and Adventure

“Top Gun” – 4 stars, PG

  • Watch Tom Cruise balance his love life and the weight of being one of the top pilots in the military pilot jet crew.

“Django Unchained” – 5 stars, R

  • This excellent movie stars Jamie Foxx. He plays a free slave who travels across America to save his wife. Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson also star in this film.

“Kill Bill” – 4 stars, R  

  • Watch an assassin, played by Uma Thurman, place vengence on members of her assassination circle.

Romantic Comedies

“Hitch” – 4 stars, PG-13

  • Will Smith plays a character that helps people have successful first dates. See how he gets a taste of his own medicine in this movie.

“Clueless” – 4 stars, PG-13

  • Never seen or heard of “Clueless”? Ugh, as if! Watch this classic romantic comedy from the ‘90s.

“Moonrise Kingdom” – 4 stars, PG-13

  • Enjoy this cute movie about two 12-year-olds who runaway in love together.

Classics

“Rocky” – 4 stars, PG

  • If you have never seen this underdog classic, take the time to watch it. Keep count of how many famous references you notice!

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” – 4 stars, PG

  • Audrey Hepburn stars in this witty and classical movie from the ‘60s.

Comedies

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” – 4 stars, PG-13

  • See all the activities that Ferris Bueller can get into in just one day of skipping school in this classic ‘80s movie.

“Coyote Ugly” – 4 stars, PG-13

  • Get a glimpse of what it’s like to make it work in a bar in New York City.

Dramas

“Silver Linings Playbook” – 4.5 stars, R

  • This Academy Award nominated movie stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.  

“Pulp Fiction” – 4 stars, R

  • This film directed by Quentin Tarantino stars John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman.

Documentary

“Blackfish” – 5 stars, PG-13

  • Warning: if you love Sea World, do not watch this documentary film.

Romantic Dramas

“Beyond the Lights” – 4.5 stars, PG-13

  • Watch this movie about a star who is under the pressure of fame. Can someone save her from this pressure?

“The Best of Me” – 4.5 stars, PG-13

  • This movie is a tearjerker, so make sure to have tissues and ice cream by your side while watching.

Thriller

“The Loft” – 3 stars, R  

  • Try to solve the mystery between five friends and their love affairs in this movie.

Holiday Favorites

“Christmas with the Kranks” – 3 stars, PG

  • Watch this movie about a family who tries to skip out on Christmas. That is, if their neighbors and friends let them!

“12 Dates of Christmas” – 3 stars, TV-PG

  • Wouldn’t you love the chance to retry anything until you get it right? Watch how a character in this movie gets that opportunity.

“The Mistle-Tones” – 3 stars, TV-PG

  • This Christmas movie is a musical. Be sure to warm up your vocal chords before watching!

“Bad Santa” – 2.5 stars, R

  • Santa is on the naughty list in this movie.

“A Christmas Carol” – 4.5 stars, G

  • This movie is a classic Christmas film that is perfect to watch during the holiday season.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” – 4 stars, PG

  • This is a movie that can be watched twice a year during two holidays. Is it meant for Christmas or Halloween? The more, the merrier!

“The Legend of Frosty the Snowman” – 2.5 stars, TV-G

  • This movie is always a childhood favorite. Watch this to bring back those cherished memories.

“Love Actually” – 4 stars, R

  • This romantic Christmas movie features multiple different love stories.

TV Shows

“Friends” – 5 stars, TV-14

  • Kick back and watch this smash hit sitcom with some friends for a great time.

“New Girl” – almost 5 stars, TV-14

  • If you need a good laugh, “New Girl” is the show for you to watch. The dorky character Jess is played by Zooey Deschanel.

“The Walking Dead” – 5 stars, TV-MA

  • Watch this TV show based off of comic books about survivors in a zombie apocalypse.

“Orange is the New Black” – 5 stars, TV-MA

  • This Netflix original series gives a look into life in prison. Interestingly enough, it is based on true events.

“Dexter” – 5 stars, TV-MA

  • This show follows a serial killer who only aims to kill other murderers.

 

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What to watch on Netflix: The Global Edition

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What to watch on Netflix: The Global Edition


1. Remembrance (Die verlorene Zeit) – Germanydie-verlorene-zeit-212518
Set in Nazi Germany, Remembrance is based on the true story of a Jewish woman, Hannah Sibberstein, and a Polish political prisoner, Tomasz Limanowski, who fall in love, then subsequently escape a German concentration camp. What makes this movie unique is its depiction of the couple’s life at the concentration camp in 1944 and Hannah’s life in New York in 1976 following her escape from Nazi Germany. Like any movie about the Holocaust, Remembrance is by no means uplifting. But Remembrance’s captivating plot twists and moving dialogue (in the form of subtitles) make it one of the best Holocaust movies I’ve seen.

crouchingtigerhiddendragon2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wo hu cang long) – China
This classic film is great for anybody who wants to see some good old-fashioned butt-kicking scenes. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon follows martial arts master Li Mu Bai’s quest to avenge the death of his master and reclaim his stolen sword. Though the plot is pretty unoriginal, the martial arts action scenes make this a must see movie.

likewaterforchocolate3. Like Water for Chocolate (Como Agua para Chocolate) – Mexico
If you’re in the mood for a good chick flick, look no further than Like Water for Chocolate. Based on a bestselling novel, Like Water for Chocolate tells the story of a young girl, Tita, who wishes to marry the love of her life, Pedro, but cannot because family tradition dictates the youngest daughter must stay single and take care of her mother. Though Tita suppresses her outward feelings for Pedro, her emotions manifest themselves through her cooking, influencing everyone who eats her food. The result is a fantastical story of love, betrayal and delicious Mexican cooking.

theattack4. The Attack (L’Attentat) – France
The Attack gives a unique and personal perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Set in modern Israel, the movie is about an Israeli Palestinian man, Amin Jaafari, whose life is forever changed when his wife is accused of setting off a bomb in a restaurant killing 19 people including herself. This suspenseful drama will keep you guessing until the very end.

bliss5. Bliss (Mutluluk) – Turkey
Bilss tells the story of a young woman who is sentenced to death after she is accused of having sex before marriage. Before being killed, the young woman escapes with the man sentenced to kill her. This movie takes a provocative look at traditionalist Islamic laws and throughout the course of the movie shows the dire effects they can have on women. The acting is what sets this movie over the top and makes it a must see.

Dilwale-Dulhania-Le-Jayenge6. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge – India
If you’re looking for a classic feel-good Bollywood musical then look no further than Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ). This romantic comedy is about a young couple that meets and falls in love against their parents’ wishes. The movie is packed full of the upbeat song and dance numbers that are crucial to any successful Bollywood film and to date, DDLJ is the longest running film in Indian cinema history, showing nearly 1000 weeks straight.

LesChoristes7. The Chorus (Les Choristes) – France
The Chorus is an uplifting movie about a world-renowned music teacher who takes a teaching job at delinquent boys boarding school following his mother’s illness. Though it has a fairly predictable plot (teacher takes job at a troubled school and ends up inspiring students), The Chorus is still well worth a watch, especially for music fans.

LIKE FATHER LIKE SON8. Like Father, Like Son (Soshite Chichi ni Naru) – Japan
Like Father Like Son is the perfect movie to watch if you’re looking for a real tearjerker. The movie is about two couples that discover that their now 6-year-old sons were swapped at birth. The couples then face a nearly impossible choice: keep the children they’ve been raising or switch back. The actors in this movie do such a great job that by the end, you’ll be completely invested in these families.

sidewalls9. Sidewalls (Medianeras) – Argentina
Sidewalls is the story of two neighbors who are a seemingly perfect couple but have never met. Though it can be cheesy at times, I often found myself yelling at the screen when the couple came close to meeting but one thing stood in their way. If love stories don’t appeal to you, this movie’s footage of Buenos Aires and its depiction of city life make it worth a watch.

the-hunt10. The Hunt (Jagten) – Denmark
Nominated for countless awards including a 2014 Oscar for best foreign language films, The Hunt is the story of a teacher, Lucas, who is wrongly accused of sexual assault by one of his students. Don’t watch this movie if you are looking for something uplifting. On the contrary, The Hunt will take you on an emotional rollercoaster that very rarely lifts you up.

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What to watch on Netflix: The Halloween Editon

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What to watch on Netflix: The Halloween Editon


NETFLIX HALLOWEEN

It’s that time of the year again! No, not Christmas—All Hallow’s Eve is here. Whether you’re spending it partying in a costume that took you hours to put together, handing out candy, or spending it on your couch, Netflix has a perfect selection of TV shows and movies. It’ll get you in the spirit… and maybe scared out of your pants.

TV Shows:

Supernatural

The Supernatural series follows brothers Dean and Sam Winchester as they travel across the country hunting demons, vampires and spirits. After one episode, you’ll be binge-watching the all nine seasons.

American Horror Story

The writers of this show are by far some of the most creative (and disturbed) individuals on the planet. Season one, “Murder House”, centers around a family who moves from across the country into a mysterious home. Little do they know, the house is a host for several ghosts who cannot rest in peace. Season two, “Asylum”, takes a different path than murder house. It is set in the 1960s in an insane asylum that is operated by a church. It sheds light on how cruelly mental patients were treated in the past.

Bates Motel

The 1960s film Pyscho, known most for its infamous shower scene, quickly became a cult classic. “Bates Motel” is a prequel to the movie franchise, but is set in modern day, and follows the infamous Norman Bates as a teenager.

Dexter

This series follows Dexter, who specializes in blood spatter at Miami Metro Homicide. By day he solves crime, but at night he’s the one committing them. He struggles with leading a normal life and goes to extremes to hide his true identity. When Dexter says that blood is his life, he isn’t kidding.

 

Movies:

If you don’t want to invest in a TV show, Netflix has a variety of scary movies. Some people don’t know that there’s sub-genres to the Horror section on Netflix. A couple include Cult Horror, Teen Screams, Slashers and Serial Killers, Horror Comedy, and even Halloween Favorites.

Scream 1, 2, and 3

The 1996 slasher film Scream changed the horror movie industry. It gained a large following and is considered a cult classic. Netflix currently streams the first three movies of the series. The ghost face mask is terrifying—but I won’t go into too many details about it. Horror movies thrive on the element of surprise.

Insidious: Part 2

This movie is a sequel to the 2010 film, Insidious. Before deciding to watch this one on Netflix, it’s best to have watched the first movie. It features demonic spirits who possess people and crave only one thing: human life. These spirits will kill and destroy anyone and anything that gets in the way of them finally receiving a soul.

Carrie

What’s Halloween without a Stephen King movie? Netflix streams two versions of the classic novel turned film. The recent adaptation of Carrie is more suitable for those who value the art of cinema. If you get queasy easily, Carrie is not the film for you, as both versions contain lots of blood.

Silence of the Lambs

This psychological thriller is a classic must-see. It features a charismatic cannibalistic doctor, Hannibal Lecter. The film explores the minds of psychopaths. It does play with the mind using suspense, but is gory in certain scenes. There’s something frightening about a genius like Dr. Lecter who’s capable of committing murder with his bare hands.

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Monthly Movie Review: Training Day

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Monthly Movie Review: Training Day


Directed By: Antoine Fuqua 

Starring: Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke

This month we are going to have ourselves a double threat film. In honor of the Oscars taking place this month and to represent the fact that February is Black History month, I found a film that does justice for both. Well, sort of anyway. The movie highlights Denzel Washington as a skilled actor more so than the character he actually plays in the film, but I think it still works. In Training Day we see Denzel in an Academy Award winning role for Best Actor, which genuinely showcases his talents and range as not only a great African American actor, but an actor in general.

Training Day is a somewhat dark film that depicts a day in the life of two undercover narcotics officers. We have Alonzo Harris (Washington) as a badass detective who slowly morphs into the type of criminal he has sworn to keep off the streets. Washington perfectly portrays the wickedness of a man who could turn his back and his badge on the people and city he is supposed to be protecting. In fact, he is so convincing in this role that he makes me completely forget about the tough, but fair football coach in Remember The Titans and the good guy I imagine him to be in real life and instead makes me want to reach my hand into the television screen and slap him silly. When you match the off the wall (and not to mention illegal) policing tactics of Harris with the naïve and good intentioned personality of his trainee officer Jake Hoyt (Hawke), you’ve got yourself the makings of a wild, thrilling and dangerous ride of a movie.

The only somewhat brief (and I mean brief) comic relief that breaks up the action in this non-stop adrenaline pumping movie, would be the magnificent acting styles of Snoop Dogg, who by the way should probably stick to his music career instead of trying, like many other singers/rappers, to cross over into the acting field. Despite this fleeting comical scene, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t meant to be funny, but which I found smirkable; the rest of the film will leave you with a somewhat eerie and hollow feeling in your gut.

As I watched this film I wondered are some cops really like Alonzo? Can the people we entrust our lives to, the people that swear to protect us really wind up becoming what we fear the most, secret criminals, law breakers hiding behind the mask of a badge and gun that says they are good?  Sorry that sort of turned into a rant, but this movie to me was dark and twisted, and I think it was the film’s intention to make us think about it.

The movie progresses with Harris schlepping Hoyt around the streets of Los Angeles and taking him on crazy and dangerous adventures, for better lack of a word, which would make even the cockiest rookie shake in his shoes. Hoyt begins to recognize Harris’ shady techniques in handling his job, this same behavior is shown in the members of Harris’ team as well, illustrating the different level of rogue cops among LA’s finest. Hoyt is too intimidated at first, and too eager to be accepted by Harris, to say anything about it. However, when the stakes gets raised from stealing money to murder and blackmail, Hoyt is in so far over his head that it becomes unclear if he will be able to make it to the surface before he drowns in all the lies that he finds himself swimming in.

Director Antoine Fuqua does a good job here of letting the plot thicken and the tension rise on its own. He does this through the tight jawed and clenched fist stares that Alonzo and Jake share with each other, that makes me want to hide under my blanket afraid that they may shoot me by accident in the cross fire.

Eventuallym when Alonzo takes it too far when he sets Hoyt up, now we can see the bomb about to explode. Hoyt is sick of being Alonzo’s punching bag, something that he thinks he can smack around without being hit back, so Hoyt decides to take matters into his own hands by going after Alonzo himself.

What ensues is a major throw down of good and evil, dirty cop vs. clean cop. There can only be one winner, and with the determination of Hoyt to clear his name and his honor and Harris’ general badassery, it will be a fight too close to call. How will Detective Hoyt’s first day on the job finally end, well you should definitely watch the movie to find out.

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Students weigh in on who deserves this year’s Best Picture at the Oscars

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Students weigh in on who deserves this year’s Best Picture at the Oscars


As the blistering cold winds churn around campus, across the country in Hollywood, the mildly warm heat is mingling with red carpets that are being rolled out and gowns and tuxedos that are being chosen as the kick off to award season has just begun.

Behind the flashing lights of the paparazzi lenses and aside from the glittering gowns and Hollywood gossip, award season, most notably The Academy Awards, serve as a time to honor and praise the year in films.

The 85th Academy Awards, airing Sunday, February 24, on ABC at 8:30 p.m. EST, have turned out nine nominations for Best Picture.  These nine nominations include: Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty.  With such a large list, it comes down to many factors to decide on which deserves the acclaimed award.

“A lot of it depends on Hollywood politics,” said Peter Johnston, the Digital Media/Film Production Manager in MSU’s Film Studies Program.  “Or the way the Academy wishes to be portrayed, honoring a certain director or producer’s career rather than the particular film.  That’s the cynical answer.”

Though Hollywood politics are a major factor, it is not the only decision maker.

“The optimistic answer,” continued Johnston, “is that when a movie tells a fascinating story in an innovative way with great performances, and combines all the strengths that film can put on display, that is what makes a Best Picture.”

With an array of fair and unfair deciding factors, the nominees are always the cream of the crop when it comes to filmmaking of the year.

According to Indie Wire, Lincoln will prove winner of the annual race, but Zero Dark Thirty should be the winner.

Zero Dark Thirty is a serious contender from Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, who won in 2008 for The Hurt Locker.

Though different movies, they depict specific time periods in American history.  Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg, illustrates the last four months of President Abraham Lincoln’s life.  The film explored the Civil War and the struggle to ratify the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

Zero Dark Thirty, a modern piece of U.S. history, is a dramatization of the events leading up to and during the hunt for terrorist Osama bin Laden.

“I don’t know what to predict this year,” said Shea Norling, a journalism sophomore.  “I didn’t expect Argo to win at the Golden Globes, but it did. I don’t know if the Oscars appreciates it as much, but my choice would be Argo if I had to pick.”

Argo, directed by and starring Ben Affleck, has been the surprise hit so far this award season.

Josh Braude, a comparative cultures and politics sophomore, agreed, “My favorite film to win, the most Oscar worthy, is probably Argo.”

Argo, directed by Ben Affleck, recently won the Golden Globe for Best Drama Film.  The film is another piece of American history depicting a CIA operative and his team rescuing six U.S. diplomats during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis in Tehran, Iran.

“It just won the Golden Globe and I think it has a pretty good shot. I think that Lincoln may upset because it’s an excellent Spielberg film,” Braude said.

Gary Susman of Moviefone.com wrote in a January 2013 article “the odds are slim that ‘Argo’ can win an Academy Award for Best Picture without even having been nominated for Best Director. Last time that happened was 23 years ago, when ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ took the top prize.”

Another favorite proves to be the small-scale film, Beasts of the Southern Wild.  Based on the one act play Juicy and Delicious by Lucy Alibar, Beasts of the Southern Wild shows a young girl, Hushpuppy, as she struggles with her father’s failing health and the melting ice caps flooding her home in the Louisiana bayou.

“It’s a small film, a very inventive story, shot on 16mm film and with an army of dedicated volunteers,” said Johnston.  “I was a little surprised to see it nominated, really, and would love if it won.”

Aside from the film being nominated, star Quvenzhané Wallis is nominated for Best Actress at the ripe age of 9. Wallis instills a record of being the youngest Oscar nominated actress in Academy Award history.

“I loved that little girl in Beasts of the Southern Wild,” said journalism junior, Zack Peña.  “She’s got some nice skill for her age and she’s likely to gain a stellar career from this film, but she simply hasn’t had the same experience and training as other great actors have had.”

With so many film choices, we can’t forget about the musical spectacle that came to life. Illustrating the painful and emotional journey of a set of individuals during the French Revolution, Les Miserables is based on Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel of the same name and later adapted in the 1985 stage hit by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil.

“I think Les Miserables deserves an Oscar,” said Amanda Cowherd, a journalism freshman. “It was beautifully produced and epic, yet it still stayed true to the original story.”

Cowherd remained confident in the film.

“I feel like a lot of people don’t give musicals a chance, but they’re very powerful,” said Cowherd.

The last musical to win the Academy Award for Best Picture was Oliver!  in 1968.

“I think this is a decent crop of films this year,” said Johnston.  “I predict Lincoln to sweep most of the categories it’s nominated in.”

With Oscar on his way to The Dolby Theater, previously known as The Kodak Theater, Hollywood buzz is proving to be anything but quiet.  There is still time to see the nominated films that are awaiting the big gala, hosted by Family Guy’s Seth McFarlane on February 24.

Check out a full list of nominations at the Oscars official website.

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Monthly Movie Reviews: Layer Cake

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Monthly Movie Reviews: Layer Cake


Director: Matthew Vaugh

Starring: Daniel Craig, Sienna Miller and Michael Gambon

In honor of the upcoming release of Skyfall on November 9, which by the way is the new James Bond movie for all of you who have been living under a rock the past few months, I decided to choose a movie to review starring James Bond himself, a.k.a. Daniel Craig. And let’s face it, we can never have too much of Daniel Craig.

While the only thing that may be related in these two films is the fact that Craig gets to run around being a bad ass, that doesn’t mean Layer Cake is not an action packed British (yes ladies, I did say British, so get ready to drool over all the amazing accents) crime thriller as well.

Layer Cake, in spite of the misleading name, has nothing to do with cake (bummer I know). Layer Cake in this movie actually refers to the social strata in the British criminal world, along with the numerous plot layers that exist in the film. That being said, the movie is in reality about Craig’s character, who does not have an identified name in the film, a cocaine dealer on the brink of retirement who is asked to do two more challenging jobs, one of which is completely out of his league. The first is finding the missing daughter of a major coke supplier (and she’s a drug addict, surprised?) and the other is organizing the purchase and delivery of one million ecstasy pills from an arrogant gangster named the Duke. Did I mention that this movie might have to do with something about drugs? Well in case I didn’t here it goes, this movie has a lot of drugs in it. You’re welcome.

So you are probably thinking things can’t get much worse for him now right, but you’d be wrong. Things pretty much just keep on getting worse. With a slew of lies, secrets and hidden agendas that spiral down into a bloody mess, we see the evolution, well actually rather the degeneration, that a life of crime brings on.

One big glitch in the plan is when we learn that all the pills the Duke has acquired turn out to be stolen. Which isn’t really good for anyone, especially Craig, who now has a hit man after him who wants the pills (and the Duke’s head) and isn’t afraid to takes Craig’s head along with it in the process if he has to.

Around half way through the film we are introduced to the father of the runaway coke addict teenage girl. When I first saw the father/menacing drug supplier Eddie Temple (Michael Gambon), I knew he seemed very familiar and then it hit me like a lightning bolt. Bloody hell, it’s Dumbledore! After the shock of seeing Dumbledore without a beard down to his knees, and not a wand in sight, it was easy to picture Gambon as an experienced and cold-hearted drug lord. Scary, I know, but he does it well.

Also, of course, there is a hot, but complicated girl added into the mix here as well, which doesn’t exactly appear to be a threatening or terrible problem for Craig, if you know what I mean. There always seems to be “that girl” in this type of movie, let’s say Sienna Miller for the sake of this movie, on screen for two minutes in order to further progress and add insight to the plot of the film.  That is why they do it, right?

This movie does at times get a bit confusing and pulls at our intellectual abilities to be aware of everything at all times in a film, which, let’s face it, is not an easy task for me to do. Be it the accents, or just that I had a bit of trouble following the story line at various points in the film, I didn’t grasp a few of the elements that had been presented in the movie. Don’t be alarmed by this though, because at no point did it take away from my understanding of the movie as a whole, or my experience of watching the film. All it really did was muster a few looks of confusion with my head cocked to one side, which by the way, made me glad I watched this movie alone.

Without giving too much away, since I hate when people do that and I really can’t say much more about the film without doing so, I will say this: there are some unanticipated twists and turns that go down which will take you by surprise in this film, along with a few semi-predictable plot lines, but all in all it is a very well-written and acted film. So ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts, hold on to your popcorn and get ready to push the pedal to the metal because you are in for a crazy, action packed and suspenseful ride in Layer Cake.

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Monthly Movie Reviews: King of California

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Monthly Movie Reviews: King of California


Starring: Michael Douglas and Evan Rachel Wood

Directed by: Mike Cahill

If you are looking for a movie that will make you laugh, excite you and possibly make you cry (for all you manly men out there, don’t let that stop you from watching this movie), then stay tuned.

In a world where frequent visits to the mental hospital and searching for buried treasure is the norm, we are introduced to the reality of King of California. This movie is a witty, indie dramedy following the adventures of wise beyond her years Miranda (Evan Rachel Wood) and her eccentric father Charlie (Michael Douglas), who was recently released from his stay at a mental hospital.

While Miranda struggles to keep them afloat financially by working at  a McDonalds (because that’s legit), Charlie is in search for buried treasure. Though Miranda is frustrated by Charlie and his constant shenanigans, they are all that each other have in this world. And despite her best efforts, she cannot help but love and take care of him. Due to this, Miranda resists in helping Charlie with his extravagant plans at first, but then we soon see the wall she tries to put up between her and Charlie begins to slowly crumble (like MSU’s football team this year, don’t hate, we all know it’s true) as this adventure brings some joy and hope back into her life.

The two of them grow closer during their hunt for the long lost treasure, which finally leads them to believe that the gold doubloons they have been looking for are buried under their local Costco store. Although I am glad it wasn’t a Wal-Mart that they were breaking into, because the only thing I can think about when I am in one is breaking out of it.

While it may seem strange to root for a character that is justifiably insane and knows it (since normally we are thinking they should go back to where they came from), you can’t help but fall in love with Charlie and his sense of adventure and obliviousness to the real world.  This man is absolutely ridiculous, but it only makes you want his ravings of buried treasure to be real as much as he does for both Charlie’s sake and Miranda’s sanity.

The two actors play off each other wonderfully, as if they were meant to be together in these roles like peas and carrots, as Forest Gump would say, or me and Robert Downey Jr…. Anyway, we have Douglas as the perfectly eccentric, yet slightly unstable father, matching seamlessly with Wood’s responsible, level-headedness, making this quirky movie come to life. Together the pair  reminds me of Obama and Romney, but I’ll let you decide for yourselves which one is level headed and which one forgot to take their meds.

King of California is a heartbreakingly sweet betrayal of the love between a father and daughter and that no matter how much it might be strained, family is a bond that can never be broken.

Check out the trailer below!

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