Watson Reviews “Boyhood”

Director: Richard Linklater Writer: Richard Linklater Studios: Universal Pictures, IFC Films
Cast: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater Release Date (UK): 11 July, 2014 Certificate: 15 Runtime: 166 min

Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” is a soaringly epic yet deeply intimate journey through the life of a boy from age 5 to age 18 that is completely immersive and unmistakeably human. Filmed over 12 years with the same actors, it’s an extraordinary achievement in movie-making and unlike any film I’ve ever seen before. Filmmakers the world over aspire to the level of human truth which comes so naturally here, and in such high and heavy abundance; as an ode to human nature, it’s simply breathtaking.

Linklater has, in the past, shown an interest in how people change over time; his engrossing “Before” trilogy provided us with glimpses at the evolving relationship between two lovers over the course of almost 20 years. Here, he invites us to watch as young Mason grows through the years, and as he transforms from a watchful young boy into an awkward teenager into a confident young man with his whole future ahead of him. Mason is played by Ellar Coltrane, and he plays him at 5 years old, and he plays him at 18 years old, and he plays him at everything in between. Coltrane gives one of the great child performances, and one of the great teen performances, too; he’s completely natural, which makes his 12-year transformation all the more enthralling. (Continue Reading…)

HotDog10(10 outta 10)

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Talking Nerdy Episode 103: Hip Hop & Other Drugs with AG Fernandez

Philly Hip Hop Artist AG Fernandez stops by the studio to talk about his career, music, and more! We go into some of the news of the week and learn a lot about youth in Saudi Arabia from additional guest Yazeed Khabiri! Let us entertain you with America’s new favorite games “Who Would’ve THOT?!” and “#HASHTAG cRAP!” AG Fernandez busts a new freestyle to BOOM CLAP by Charli XCX. Listen up!

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Talking Nerdy Episode 102: The Nerd Stays in the Picture with Robert Emmons Jr.

We go long and hard with documentary film maker Robert A. Emmons, Jr. discussing movies, comic books, and his latest film Diagram for Delinquents (available now on Sequart.com). We cover the latest news and go full throttle on the Rotten Tomato Game: Documentary Edition! Strap in, because this is a long and sweaty ride!

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Watson’s Review of ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’

Director: Michael Bay Writer: Ehren Kruger Studios: Paramount Pictures, di Bonaventura Pictures, Hasbro, China Movie Channel, Jiaflix Enterprises Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Nicola Peltz, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Reynor, Sophia Myles Release Date (UK): 4 July, 2014 Certificate: 12A Runtime: 165 min

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if audience members emerge from “Transformers: Age of Extinction” like Kyle Reese emerging from the electric time-travel ball at the beginning of “The Terminator,” all sweaty and exhausted and writhing in pain, and asking startled passers by what year it is. This is entertainment in the same sense that getting a prostitute to stomp on your testicles with the heel of her stiletto is a sex act: technically it is, but surely there are other methods of physical pleasure out there that result in far less ball-aching agony.

Lasting a baffling 165 minutes, “Age of Extinction” is the longest of Michael Bay’s “Transformers” films and it absolutely feels like it. Rumours that the franchise had finally hired an editor have been greatly exaggerated: there’s at the very least a whole collective hour that very cleary should not be in here. Rumours that the franchise was getting a fresh new reboot are also of the greatly exaggerated variety: though there is indeed an all-new cast led by Marky Mark Wahlberg, Mr. Bay is just up to his old tricks again: that is to say, the plot is complete gibberish, the storytelling is almost entirely incomprehensible, the pace is akin to that of a glacier, and the product placement is insane, so much so that the film basically amounts to the world’s longest Bud Light commercial. Oh, and if you’re able to tell the good robots apart from the bad robots, you should probably look into joining the X-Men: your radioactive super-sight might come in handy. (CONTINUE READING…)

HotDog3(3 Outta 10)

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Talking Nerdy Episode 101: Kickin’ It Nerd School with Chris Kluwe

Former NFL kicker and current activist, Chris Kluwe, joins us in between signing books on the road. We talk about the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, the world of gaming, sports, and the BET Awards! We also play a special edition of Jose-Can-Say-So in honor of Jose Canseco’s birthday! Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisWarcraft

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Talking Nerdy Episode 100: Five Guys Inside Tinslee Reagan

Special Guest Porn Sensation Tinslee Reagan joins us to talk about her career, gang bangs, dick pics, and her upcoming indie film: “Nowhereland.” We get into the news, Game of Thrones, Tattoos, Marijuana Laws and more! Tinslee Reagan joins us to play “WHO TWOTE THAT TWEET?!”

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Watson’s Review of “The Fault in Our Stars”

Director: Josh Boone Writers: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber Studios: 20th Century Fox, Temple Hill Entertainment Cast: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Willem Dafoe Release Date (UK): 19 June, 2014 Certificate: 12A Runtime: 125 min

Lotsa snifflin’. “The Fault in Our Stars,” the new teen-oriented cancer weepy, is, like most teen-oriented cancer weepies, mawkish and manipulative. The difference with this, however, is that unlike most teen-oriented cancer weepies, it earns the right to be mawkish and manipulative. It earns this through the relationship between its central pair of sick (and getting sicker) lovebirds: Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Gus (Ansel Elgort), two sharp-witted teenagers who meet at a cancer support group in Indianapolis. Hazel has terminal thyroid cancer and walks everywhere with a tube up her nose and an oxygen tank at her side. Gus has osteosarcoma, which is in remission, but it has taken his right leg. Bonding over their sicknesses, they become good friends, then more than friends, even as death approaches their doorsteps.

Like “Marley and Me” (but good), “The Fault in Our Stars” is a film you go into bracing yourself for the emotional sledgehammer. A love story between two cancer patients can end only in tear-soaked tragedy. We know this, so when introduced to Hazel and Gus, some may attempt to resist getting swept away in their doomed romance as a means of self-defense. But resistance is futile: Woodley and Elgort are so good together, and their conversations so enjoyable, and their blossoming romance so engaging and believable, that getting swept away is the only option. Before you know it you’re warming to them, you’re going on an emotional journey with them and you’re falling in love with them. Then the sledgehammer hits, and you’re a blubbering wreck crying on the floor.

Me, I got teary eyed and I was sniffling away, and may have had to blow my nose a couple times. And while yes, the film achieves this partly through the saddest of piano riffs playing in the background, I didn’t feel cheated: the film had allowed me to grow to care about the characters and laugh with them and care about what happened to them in a way that felt natural rather than forced. As far as I’m concerned, the film absolutely earns the right to turn all weepy and sappy towards the end: if you’re gonna try and make me cry, first make me care, and “The Fault in Our Stars” did make me care. It’s manipulative, to be sure, almost cruelly so, but it allows us to fall in love with Hazel and Gus in a way that’s anything but.

HotDog8(8 Outta 10)

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Talking Nerdy Episode 99: Strong Female Lamps

We discuss strong female characters and their place in movies as well as the season finale of Game of Thrones (and women getting kicked in the crotch). We continue our World Cup coverage and play TV MOVIE MANIA!

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Watson Reviews ’22 Jump Street’


Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller Writers: Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, Rodney Rothman Studios: Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Media Rights Capital, Original Film, Lord Miller Productions Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare, Ice Cube Release Date (UK): June 6, 2014 Certificate: 15 Runtime: 112 min

“Everybody knows the sequel’s never quite as good,” sang Kermit the Frog earlier this year in the rib-ticklingly self-deprecating opening musical number of “Muppets Most Wanted,” a sequel which, as fate would have it, was indeed not quite as good as its fantastic predecessor. It seems Kermit may have sung too soon: “22 Jump Street,” a sequel which shares the same ironically mocking attitude towards the concept of sequels as “Muppets Most Wanted,” is every bit as good as “21 Jump Street,” if not even better. And as anyone who saw Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s spectacularly funny 2012 action comedy will agree, that’s a damn impressive feat. Matching the first film’s gut-busting laugh-a-minute hit rate as well as its boisterous energy and subversive wit, it’s a more than worthy follow-up to that comedy tour de force, and may well be the greatest comedy sequel of all time. (CONTINUE READING…)

HotDog9(9 Outta 10)

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Watson Reviews ‘Edge of Tomorrow’

Director: Doug Liman Writers: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson Release Date (UK): May 30, 2014 Certificate: 12A Runtime: 113min

“Edge of Tomorrow” might just be the greatest video game movie ever made. Only, it’s not actually based on a video game, thank God — in actual fact, it’s based on a novel, 2004’s “All You Need is Kill,” penned by Japanese writer Hiroshi Sakurazaka. What I mean is, it’s a film which takes on the structure of a video game, thanks to a premise which has Tom Cruise respawning over and over again like a video game character against the war-torn backdrop of an alien invasion. Cruise plays William Cage, a cowardly army major and PR specialist who to his horror is thrust into the battlefield when Earth is invaded by militarised extraterrestrial beasties. Killed by the enemy, he awakens the previous day, finding himself stuck in a time-loop where he must fight the exact same battle day after day until the battle is won. (CONTINUE READING…)

HotDog8(8 Outta 10)

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