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Lovelace [*Indie Film Alert]

Where do I begin with the film ‘Lovelace‘? First, I watched it on Netflix because it was only in select theatres for a short period of time and I didn’t get a chance to see it. Second, I think it’s rated R, but may be a little more risque than your usual rated R film. Third, it did a great job telling the story of Linda Lovelace. 

Beneath the trailer you will see a summary of the film, so all I will say is that it tells the true story of porn star Linda Lovelace aka Deep Throat. The film stars; Amanda Seyfried (Lovelace), Peter Sarsgard (Chuck – Linda’s husband), Sharon Stone, James Franco, Adam Brody, Cory Hardrict and more.

As I mentioned, the film does a great job telling the story of Linda and what I especially liked is the way the film moved from the past to the present in an evident way. It’s so good that I’m not going to spoil it for those who have yet to watch the movie. I will say that you get to see the good and the bad with a twist.

What I found most shocking about Linda’s story was the amount of time she spent in the porn industry. I thought she was this big star for decades based from what I heard when the film was released, but in reality she only did one film and was technically in the porn industry for a total of 17 days. Yet, her one film grossed more than $600 million dollars, but you will be surprised at how much money she actually made.

The story flows so well, that it never gives you a chance to be bored or get distracted. It does have its sexual scenes, but they are not to overbearing that it takes away from the cinematics of the film.

I began the movie basically knowing nothing about Linda Lovelace, but ended with a sense of respect for how she took control of her life and is now an advocate against the porn industry and domestic violence.

Besides my love for the great story telling, the films thespians deliver a dramatic transparent truth to their characters. It’s hard to imagine that this is a true story, but the thespians deliver it in such a way that makes you remember that the characters they are portraying are in fact real people.

In the end, Linda Lovelace’s story teaches us that regardless of what you’ve done in the past and/or what people may think of you, there is always opportunities to change your life around for the better.

Linda dealt with such a lot in a short period of time. As you watch the film you will be in disbelief of at how badly she is treated including by her husband who reminds me of Ike Turner. She has a very painful past that would have destroyed many, but still finds a way to triumph. 

If you have Netflix, Amazon or a location to rent/buy DVDs I recommend you do it and learn more about Linda Lovelace and her story.

In 1972—before the internet, before the porn explosion—Deep Throat was a phenomenon: the first scripted pornographic theatrical feature film, featuring a story, some jokes, and an unknown and unlikely star, Linda Lovelace. Escaping a strict religious family, Linda discovered freedom and the high-life when she fell for and married charismatic hustler Chuck Traynor. As Linda Lovelace she became an international sensation—less centerfold fantasy than a charming girl-next-door with an impressive capacity for fellatio. Fully inhabiting her new identity, Linda became an enthusiastic spokesperson for sexual freedom and uninhibited hedonism. Six years later she presented another, utterly contradictory, narrative to the world—and herself as the survivor of a far darker story.

The Way, Way Back [*Indie Film Alert]

The joys of watching a great Independent Film never seems to get old and sharing it with you all is even better. A few weeks ago I did go to one of my local theatres and watched The Dallas Buyers Club. That was a great movie and deserves the recognition and attention that it is receiving. Since, I took a break from blogging last mont, I was didn’t post about it. With that being said, please go see The Dallas Buyers Club and tell me what you think.

Now on to the focus of this specific post; The Way, Way Back. It’s no longer in theatres, so you’ll have to rent or buy the dvd. For me, I was familiar with this film and remember when it was released, but never made it to a movie theatre to watch and really hadn’t thought about it since. Until recently, when I was scanning dvd selections for rent and came across it. I watched the above trailer (which was far better than the tv version) and was intrigued.

It’s a coming of age story, similar to one of my favorites – The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This story takes places over the course of a summer for a boy that is 14 years old. He’s dealing with unstable relationships with the adults in his life, but begins to find solace in an unlikely place and friends.

What I loved about the film was the vulnerability of its lead young actor Duncan. He’s a timid kid that learns to be brave and adventurous. Duncan encounters moments of sheer happiness and glee, but that can quickly turn to sadness and anger because of different situations in his life. It is our role as the viewer to follow along with him and before you know it, you too will be embracing his outlooks and emotions. I even found myself verbally rooting for him to take a chance and just do it (one of the last major moment of the movie, after watching you’ll know what I’m talking about).

The Way, Way Back makes you look back on your own life and identify those defining moments from your childhood that really changed the direction of your life for the better. It’s those moment that have a positive affect on us and really have a way of shaping our personalities, identities, character and outlook on life. It’s through those defining moments, for Duncan it was a summer, that really show us who we are at a young age. After watching the movie it will help you realize how each situation, be it good or bad, plays an important role in your own life story.

At its core it’s a simple independent film with a heartfelt story that will make you smile at the end. I recommend everyone go out and watch this movie. For me, this is one of those films that is still in my mind days after watching. 

If you’ve seen it and/or once you watch it, tell me what you think?   

THE WAY, WAY BACK is the funny and poignant coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncan’s (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin).  Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up to and begins to finally find his place in the world – all during a summer he will never forget.

The Bling Ring [Indie Film Alert]

Over the weekend I decided to watch ‘The Bling Ring.’ You may be familiar with this film because it’s based on true events. You know how it goes: a group of kids in Los Angeles rob a bunch of celebrity homes (Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan, etc.), eventually get caught and are sentenced. The film stars Emma Watson and was directed by Sofia Coppola. The script for the film was based on this Vanity Fair article

Going to watch this film I didn’t know what to expect because I already knew the plot of the film. To my surprise it was very simple and contradicted the glitz and glam that you would expect. The film raised the curtain on the life of these teens involved in ‘The Bling Ring’ in more of an artsy way. From the beginning of the film the viewer is drawn into the pace of the story. Sofia is able to capture the motivation of the teens and not spoof their crime. 

Personally, I didn’t follow the events of this crime closely. I just remember hearing about it randomly. After watching this film I now have a better understanding of the events that happened. This film also makes you understand the motivation of these teens. It wasn’t so much about stealing those items, but about living that lifestyle of the rich & famous. These teens did this because they idolized these celebrities and going into their houses allowed for them to feel closer. Although, there still is no denying that what they did is a crime. 

The film also shows that with technology and access into the lives of celebrities crimes like this that more easier. It gives us all a sense that the world is connected and wanting to be like a celebrity is easy when you have access into so much information about their lives.

Overall, I liked the film and appreciated the simplicity of how it was shot (not to mention Emma Watson’s American accent).

About the Film:

From Oscar award winning writer and director Sofia Coppola, THE BLING RING tells the story of a group of teenagers obsessed with fashion and celebrity that burglarize celebrities’ homes in Los Angeles. Tracking their targets’ whereabouts online, they break-in and steal their designer clothes and possessions. Reflecting on the naiveté of youth and the mistakes we all make when young, amplified by today’s culture of celebrity and luxury brand obsession, we see through the members of the Bling Ring temptations that almost any teenager would feel. What starts out as teenage fun spins out of control and leaves us with a sobering view of our culture today. THE BLING RING stars Emma Watson alongside incredible new talent Israel Broussard, Katie Chang, Claire Julien, and Taissa Farmiga. The film also features Leslie Mann, Gavin Rossdale, and real-life Bling Ring victim, Paris Hilton. It is based on the Vanity Fair article “The Suspects Wore Louboutins” by Nancy Jo Sales.

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete [*Indie Film Alert]

Over the weekend I went and saw the award winning independent film, “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete.” Once the ending credits began to roll I knew why this film had one so many awards, it was that great. The film stars: Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks and Anthony Mackie. Yet, the true stars of the film are the two young actors; Skylan Brooks (Mister) and Ethan Dizon (Pete). 

The level of acting from all involved was top notch. I was impressed with everyone. Regardless of the size of their role each character in the film had a purpose and delivered. My favorite characters are of course, Mister & Pete. These two are best friends, but through the course of the film become more like brothers. The friendship that they have for one another will make you root for them until the very end. 

This film is for sure not a comedy, but it had lighter moments in spite of the heavy circumstances being dealt to Mister & Pete. Through all of the tribulations, Mister remained strong and was able to be there for Pete when no one was there for them. It’s a story of survival, friendship, family, growth and maturity. 

Mister & Pete reminds us that life is not full of happy or easy moments, even when it is summer. Summer for kids is suppose to be a time of freedom and fun, but that is not what happens. Mister & Pete learn a lot about themselves and prove that they will go far in the world if they remain persistent and focused. Underneath it all, Mister has a dream that keeps him going. He in a way reaches that dream, but in an unexpected way at the end of the film.

Throughout the film you will be challenged to stay strong like Mister & Pete, but when they began to break emotionally you will too. After following there story of survival you have no choice, but to laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry. The two friends stick together and in the end come out stronger, wiser and closer. Mister & Pete are young survivors and Skylan and Ethan have a bright career ahead of them.

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete is a beautiful film, with an uplifting message. It was filmed with Brooklyn as its backdrop and the tough streets as an important obstacle. This is a summer that Mister & Pete will never forget.  

This is a must see film.

Synopsis:

During a sweltering summer in New York City, 13-year-old Mister’s (Brooks) hard-living mother (Hudson) is apprehended by the police, leaving the boy and nine-year-old Pete (Dizon) alone to forage for food while dodging child protective services and the destructive scenarios of the Brooklyn projects. Faced with more than any child can be expected to bear, the resourceful Mister nevertheless feels he is an unstoppable force against seemingly unmovable obstacles. But what really keeps the pair in the survival game is much more Mister’s vulnerability than his larger-than-life attitude. 

Indie Film Alert: The Spectacular Now

The independent film, ‘The Spectacular Now‘ has been getting a lot of attention lately, so I decided to go and see what all of the talk was about for myself. It stars two risings stars; Miles Teller and Shailene Woodly. The film is a coming of age story reminiscent of The Perks of Being a Wallflower because it follows relatable high school teens dealing with normal issues. For me, movies that are able to capture the essence of real life in a cinematic, simplistic manner are great.

The Spectacular Now was a great film because it was natural, raw and true to the story of the film. The characters were normal high school students in Georgia and the actors didn’t wear makeup. Not wearing makeup was such a brilliant creative direction because it made you feel like you were watching a home movie and not a film. The scenes were not overtly complex, but contained all of the emotional realms of being a high school student.

Through out the film we as viewers learn about the characters families, their dreams/goals, become invested in their personalities and imperfections. The only thing I didn’t understand was the underage drinking (once you see the film you will know what I mean).

At the end of the film I was left with a sense of wanting more, but closure at the same time. I’m going to be following these two young actors career because I know their next film together, Divergent, is going to make them mega superstars.

Synopsis: 

Based on the beloved book by Tim Tharp, THE SPECTACULAR NOW is the story of Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) – high school senior, effortless charmer, and self-proclaiemd “life of the party” – and of how he unexpectedly falls in love with the “nice girl” Aimee Fineky (Shailene Woodley). While Aimee dreams of the future, Sutter lives in the now. And yet somehow, they’re drawn together. What starts as an unlikely romance becomes a sharp-eyed, straight-up snapshot of the heady confusion and haunting passion of youth – one that doesn’t look for tidy truths. The film was directed by James Ponsoldt and written by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber ((500) DAYS SUMMER), and also features wonderful supporting turns from Brie Larson, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.