Tag: Mia Wasikowska

Alice Through The Looking Glass

Let’s take a time machine back six years ago. The world was different, because not everything was in 3D. Only a few films tried out 3D, thanks to Avatar being the cash cow and visually stunning film that it was. This is when people still thought 3D was actually kind of cool if done right.

Then Alice in Wonderland came out, and it made a shit ton of money. Why did everyone rush to see it? Well, I guess Johnny Depp was a bigger deal six years ago, sure. But because it was released in 3D, so everyone went to see it thinking it would be as pretty as Avatar. It wasn’t.

And say what you will about the plot of Avatar, its story was miles better than the pile of refuse that they gave us with Alice in Wonderland. You would think making it into a bad story would be impossible, given the book. But no, instead they made a sequel to the original Alice in Wonderland, setting this one many years later, with Alice returning to Wonderland with a whole mess of new and awkwardly similar problems. It gave me problems, most of all calling the movie Alice in Wonderland, when it was a sequel to Alice in Wonderland. That is confusing.

But hey, Disney is on a live action kick. So they figured, let’s do a sequel. Alice Through The Looking Glass. This one will probably no be based on the book either, since it is a sequel to the surprise sequel. So who knows what they will fill it with hoping to be edgy. Let’s just say I am going in assuming the worst here, and that is based on a lot of precedent.

Clay? Rust? Red lava? Earthy minerals? Who cares, I am barely a geologist anyways.

The sequel takes place years after the original, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is now a free girl, roaming the seas the captain of her own sailing vessel like her dad. She is exploring the new world and making trade agreements! It is actually quite fun. Unfortunately, when she gets back she is in a pickle. Hamish (Leo Bill), the man she turned down now runs the company. Her mom (Lindsay Duncan) has traded away the bill of her house for money, and the only way to get it back is for Alice to give up her boat and take a respectable job for a woman.

So, in the chaos, she runs through a mirror, following Absolem the butterfly (Alan Rickman) and returns to Wonderland! But things have changed. The entire gang is still friends, but the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) is now the Sad Hatter. He believes his family, killed by the Jabberwocky a long time ago. It is obvious what Alice must do. If you thought look for his family, you were wrong. No, she clearly should go back in time, save them from the Jabberwocky, and bring them to the present to make him feel better. Yeah. That.

But time is a person (Sacha Baron Cohen). And grabbing the Chronosphere can cause a lot of issues. But she does it anyways, because friendship and sets off on a journey to the past to fuck shit up.

The Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and White Queen (Anne Hathaway) return, Leilah de Meza with and Amelia Crouch playing their past selves. Rhys Ifans plays the Mad Hatter’s dad and Ed Speleers are regular unimportant dude.

Also returning, the voices of Tweedledee / Tweedledum (Matt Lucas), Bayard (Timothy Spall), Thackery (Paul Whitehouse), Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry), Mallymkun (Barbara Windsor), McTwisp (Michael Sheen), and introducing Wilkins (Matt Vogel), a robot.

Time is a lot of things, and you will hear every last time pun I do decree!

First of all, Eye in the Sky is Alan Rickman’s real last film. This one is just voice work, and I swear, he maybe had three lines and no close ups. This does not get to count as his final film, I won’t allow it.

As for the actual movie, if you missed it this one deals with TIME TRAVEL. Time Travel is a scary subject matter. It is powerful and can make or break a movie depending on how it is adapted. I am not going to argue one theory of time travel is better than any other, because that doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that a film is consistent with their version of time travel. Alice Through The Looking Glass cares not at all, changing the rules on a whim, and makes an incredible hard to follow film without a satisfying reason for making it overly complicated.

This line might be a slight spoiler, because I just want to explain their time travel. Alice finds out that no matter what she does, she can not change the past, the events still occur. That is the time travel they have set up. Until later on in the film, a character is totally able to change the past. Fuck.

Alice goes back in time to three different locations. Why? Because the oceans of time are chaotic and once she learns information, she tries to go to a different time line to change different things. The plot is moved forward by consistently bad decisions from Alice, whom is supposed to be a strong smart female lead. Not only that, because Alice seems to make the same bad decisions, her actions feel repetitive and the films seems to drag when there are easy solutions everywhere.

The ending is an incredible mess. Wonderland is falling apart because of two separate events that somehow produce the same results. But it doesn’t make sense for them to do the same thing. I will try and explain it out without spoilers.

Chess? Smart?/
I hope you passed algebra.

For most of the film, Problem A is happening thanks to Alice and the world is slowly falling apart. Much later in the film, Problem B, a completely different problem occurs and actually sets about the end of the world. Problem A is seemingly forgotten about. However, once Problem A is “solved”, thanks to our protagonist remembering it, it somehow undoes all of the damage of Problem B. The issue with that is there is no justification whatsoever that it should work like that. There are no mentions earlier on that if Problem B happens, it can be fixed by X. On top of that, there was no reason for Problem A to even continue late in the film, except for the fact that Alice becomes incompetent.

Finally, Alice is seen as a strong, independent woman, which is mostly true in the real world scenes where she is chased by pirates, but they reduce her to a bumbling fool in Wonderland. All of her positive traits seemingly vanish just to move the plot forward. On its own, I guess it is okay for a character to be stupid, sure.

The real issue here is that her character does stupid things, but she is still being lauded as a smart and capable heroine the entire film. To me, that seems almost more dangerous than just having a weak lead. What we need in films are actual strong female characters, not weak ones that they tell us are strong with us supposed to them at their word.

This is a bad movie and one I cannot believe was green-light by Disney. The 3D is pointless, the visuals are only great in a few places, the acting is so-so. The plot is a mess, breaks its rules (which breaks story telling rules and shouldn’t be seen as a compliment to the Madness of Wonderland), and most of the events happen thanks to stupidity and not for good plot reasons. The only thing I enjoyed was the excessive time puns and Cohen as Time.

0 out of 4.

Crimson Peak

What’s that? Oh, it’s October! That means we are supposed to be getting a lot of horror movies, right? Where the fuck are they?

Oh, there are some horror comedies, and a lot of horrors from the summer are coming out on DVD. But not a whole lot in October, because the studio people hate us. The last few Octobers have been mostly shit as well.

So thank goodness, early October, we have the chance of something wonderful. We have Crimson Peak, directed by my man, Guillermo del Toro. That man loves scary stuff. Sure he is some times hit or miss with his work, but damn it, he at least has the passion enough for me to trust his work and not judge it from crappy trailers.

I haven’t reviewed a single horror film all month (Goodnight Mommy I did in September!), so hopefully Crimson Peak gets me on the right foot and scares the Hellboy out of me.

Oh no! It looks like those bricks are covered with the remains of Hellboy 3!

Traveling back about a hundred years, Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) believes in ghosts. Her mom died when she was a child, and one very frightful night, her ghost visited her and warned her about Crimson Peak. Of course it was just childish nonsense. Now, she is an adult and living with her father (Jim Beaver), in a nice Buffalo mansion. She considers herself to be an author, but not stupid romance, instead nice dramas and ghost stories even. In reality, it is hard to define her work by a single genre.

Her dad wants her to be set up with a local boy, an eye doctor, Dr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam). But Edith is a bit more interested in a stranger to their town, Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). He came for a loan. His families business is in ruins, collecting red clay for bricks below their mansion. He has made a device to help dig it out, but he just needs capital to get the working parts in order.

Needless to say, he didn’t expect to find love in Buffalo. Thomas and his sister, Lucille (Jessica Chastain), are a bit weird, but their family has been through rough times, so it makes sense. Eventually, after some circumstances, Edith finds herself whisked away to Great Britain to live in their home. A deteriorating building with a lot of quirks due to its location.

And you know. Some ghosts maybe. Some really creepy shit. And a whole lot of secrets.

Special shout out to Burn Gorman, who played a small role as a Private Investigator. I normally just say “also featuring” but I enjoyed his 3 scenes a lot more than just a “featuring” line.

Shit Lucille, you need to clean that mirror or something.

Crimson Peak is like an old timey horror movie, in almost every way. It isn’t your modern horror film that cares about the number of jump scares it can fill in and how many people they can kill by the end. In fact, the plot itself as it unravels won’t feel new. There are elements taken from other stories that sure, may have done it better originally.

But Crimson Peak excels in the areas that the older styled movies had no chance in. First of all, HOLY FUCK, this is a pretty movie. The use of contrasting colors is so heavily used that it almost feels like the entire set was made by a darker Wes Anderson. The oozing red clay splattered around the mansion (that yes, looks like blood), does a great job of constantly enforcing the mood and history of the house. The snow, the green and blue hued windows. It is all so damn beautiful.

I wasn’t aware the movie was being release on IMAX, which unsettled me, as it would make it harder for me to cover my eyes if the screen was that much bigger than normal. Thankfully, the attention to detail that del Toro is known for when it comes to set design shined so well on the giant screen.

You know what else the older movies didn’t have? Jessica Fucking Chastain. I can admit that Chastain is a good actress, but I never really thought she was great. She was good in a lot of recent movies, including The Martian, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, A Most Violent Year, Interstellar, and sure, Zero Dark Thirty. Honestly though, they never seemed to push her into the excellence category. It just took a Drama/Horror/Fantasy for me really respect her. She went so hardcore into her character, by the end I couldn’t believe that someone who generally plays such quiet characters could be pulling it off.

The actors are of course good to fine in their own ways, all playing their roles wonderfully. But Chastain stole the damn show.

Crimson Peak will be frightening at only some points, strangely graphic at other parts (involving insects!), but for the most part, del Toro just wanted to tell a romance/drama story. Sort of. This is only slightly a horror, so those who are expecting a lot more in the scream department will be disappointed. In this film, there just happens to be ghosts and dead bodies along the way.

3 out of 4.

Only Lovers Left Alive

Vampire movies.

A pretty popular subject subgenre of film, most of them all showing vampires in a different light than the accepted myths. Yes. Twilight is basically to blame for these last 8 or so years. I mean, shit, we even have a Dracula movie coming out later this year, about the “True legend” of Dracula. A misunderstood villain movie! How original. How different.

Then we had Byzantium, a very serious different vampire movie that was praised and I just kind of…could never get in to it. This is all important lead up to say that for Only Lovers Left Alive, I know it is another serious vampire movie. One about love. And I am just afraid I won’t be able to get into this one either.

Which is why it took me about or month or more to watch it!

True Pain
Maybe I am just afraid I can’t experience true pain, like this clearly emotional vampire here is feeling.

Adam (Tom Hiddleston) has been around for a long time. He is so bored with it all, with humanity (Which he refers to as Zombies), that he has turned into a stay at home recluse. In order to not be bothered, he moved to the most decrepit and abandoned by society place he could find, Detroit, Michigan, to live out his lonely existence. And make music.

His only contact with others is a young rocker lackie, Ian (Anton Yelchin), who gets him things during the day for fat cash and has a clause to not tell people of his whereabouts, and a doctor (Jeffrey Wright), who he visits at night to buy blood from, no questions asked.

And just when he is thinking about ending it all, his wife calls him. Eve (Tilda Swinton) has been living in Tangier. They are still in love, just spending hundreds of years with a person can be a lot. So they do their own travels and discovery a lot. Either way, he convinces her to travel to him, so they can be in love and reminisce and relive the glory days.

But with Eve, her sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska) eventually shows up. She is immature and bad news and what leads to just the beginning of Adam and Eve’s problems.

Also, John Hurt is in here as another, much older vampire, that is a spiritual adviser to Eve.

Blood Orgasm
Ever wonder why one of the blood types is O? Stands for Orgasmic.

My biggest fear was…essentially reached.

Only Lovers Left Alive is not really a bad movie, it is just another movie that I had to struggle to really get in to. It is definitely a slow feeling movie, probably because for people with eternal lifespans, time tends to not be super important.

Only Lovers Left Alive is also a really well acted movie. Both Swinton and Hiddleston are fantastic. They had to convey a lot of their emotions through their actions and it showed. But time and time again has shown me that a well acted movie does not necessarily make a great film. Also, shout out to Yelchin, who I had no idea was playing the rock groupie.

The movie tells a decent story, that is for sure. The pacing just kills me at times, which of course also factors into the entire length of the story. Based on the actual plot points of the film, I wouldn’t expect it to be two hours long. But it lingers.

Does it have to? Does it have to let it linger? Not in my mind, but then I think I am a minority here.

Not a completely unique take on Vampires, as a lot of the traits are still there, but a decent adaptation of them in a modern shitty world society.

2 out of 4.

The Double (2014)

Richard Ayoade is most well known as being the not Chris O’Dowd character from The IT Crowd.

He has had the occasional other gig, but that is where most people know him. But hey, he also wants to be a director, so for his (up to this point) biggest release, he has given us a movie called The Double, which is lighting up the indie film circuit.

The Double is described by some people as a black comedy. But fuck that, this is a drama thriller.

Which is shown clearly by the use of camera lens and creepy stalking.

Let’s talk about Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg). He is a nice guy, does his job, does it well, but rarely gets acknowledged in his company. His boss (Wallace Shawn) practically ignores him despite his record, but whatever.

But a series of events leave him feeling a bit frazzled. He loses his ID badge, and gets a lot of crap for it. He has to tutor the bosses daughter. And a new hire at the work, James Simon (Jesse Eisenberg) looks identical to him. Even his voice. Other people don’t seem to notice, but it is uncanny.

James Simon, the new guy, is good at social skills which Simon James is not. However, Simon James is good at the job and doing his job. They do some of that twin switcheroo stuff to help each other out, but when James Simon starts to take things for granted, Simon James is going to find himself struggling just to feel like he exists.

Also, there is a girl involved too, of course. Mia Wasikowska, an employee at the company.

Double double
Just two dudes, not talking to each other in a public restroom. As it should be.

The Double is one of those film titles that is pretty common. This is the second The Double, I have reviewed, the first one being an absolutely terrible thriller and should promptly be ignored.

So. The first The Double is like Simon James, and this The Double is like James Simon. I am doubling up on The Doubles.

Regardless, this The Double is an incredibly weird movie. Not zany antics weird, but all of it. Everything was done deliberately in this film, from the lighting, to the camera lenses used, the angles. You can tell a lot of work went into it.

This is also the type of movie you can’t half-ass while watching it. A lot will fly right by you if you do, and you might not understand the ending in the slightest. But for those of you who are diligent, overall this movie is a very rewarding experience with some interesting twists. Might even be the type of movie you want to watch…twice.

3 out of 4.


Stoker is a movie I had to wait four months to see. It didn’t come to the local theaters, not even the ones an hour away. I was pretty disappointed, because the trailer not only looked really friggan awesome, but it was an original story. That’s right. It was not based on a book, a play, a short, nothing. Just an original movie that looked creepy and sexy.

I wanted it so bad. But I had to wait for the DVD release date. I also wanted to see it on Blu-Ray, but I missed out on that opportunity as well. Damn.

I couldn’t find the better shot where you could see her eye through the scope. I have failed the internet.

Death death death! The movie begins with the death of a father. Car crash, a few states away, burning to death. Very gruesome, very tragic. India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) just turned 18 as well, and is kind of all sorts of distraught. She is like, seriously fucked up over this. Big sad times.

Her mom Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) is a dirty little whore. Okay, that is harsh. But still, her husband just died, who she hasn’t been intimate in awhile, and after the funeral she invites the mysterious brother, Charles Stoker (Matthew Goode) to live with them. That is pretty soon, you are a widow, you should be grieving.

Well, Charles is kind of a creepy guy. He stares a lot, right into your soul basically. He stares so fucking hard. India is uncomfortable around him too, and for good reason. Charles has many secrets of his own. But maybe India will like his secrets once he makes his intentions clear?

Also, Alden Ehrenreich has a small ish role in this movie, and he is basically the opposite of his role in Beautiful Creatures. It made me hate him a lot.

I guess, to be fair, she stares just as creepily as he does.

Woo! What a sexy movie, in a creepy way. Let me reiterate how disappointed I am that I didn’t get to see this movie on Blu-Ray, it would have been even sexier looking. The cinematography is fantastic in this film, in all ways. Camera angles, the way the camera moves around the scene, and the way scenes morphed from scene to scene. There was a scene that had a close up of Kidman’s red hair, that transformed into a grassy field, and I almost flipped a shit. It was such a good transition.

The acting is great in this film too, with only a few characters it is not too hard. Nicole Kidman’s character was just ridiculously flustered the whole time, Matthew Goode and Mia Wasikowska were both different levels of creepy.

I do think this film lacked a little bit. It was slow at parts, and not as life changing as I would hope. It was incredibly well done, but not over the top well done that I set it up for. So maybe that was my fault. But I don’t think if I went in completely blind it would be a 4 out of 4, still a 3 out of 4.

Too much talk, not enough ending to the review. Check it out. But it is obviously a dark movie. I loved the ending too.

3 out of 4.


I am surprised at how little Lawless was talked about when it first hit theaters. They didn’t really give away any of the plot, but made it seem like a ganster/western movie of some sort, with some bad ass actors.

And you know, uhh, Shia LaBeouf.

Shia Get OUt
Damn it Shia, what did I tell you about showing up in my movies?

Franklin County, Virgina, early 1900s, prohibition is a bitch. But thankfully this is the wettest county in the world and basically everyone is growing Moonshine, so much that even some gangsters from Chicago are getting their hands wet out here.

The Bondourant brothers are immortal, through legend and talk from their brother Forrest (Tom Hardy). He survived a flu that killed most people who got it, and his other brother Howard (Jason Clarke) was the only surviving member of his platoon in WW1. The youngest brother, Jack (LaBeouf) is the runt of the group and wants to join in on all of the activities but, you know, he is small.

He has big dreams though, and even worships the great gangster Floyd Banner (Gary Oldman), and is hoping to start his own moonshine batch with his weird friend Cricket (Dane DeHaan) who is at least good with tinkering.

Things are going great! That is until some DA Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) is brought in, from Chicago, to clean up this moonshine business in the area, even though the local cops don’t care. His style and aura is definitely not welcome, you know, because he wants to arrest them and maybe kill them.

Kill them? Yeah, life is brutal in this time period. People die, lots of people, and it is fucking gruesome. Most people would fear for their lives, you know, if they weren’t immortal (and missing a lot of their brain cells). All while this is going on, Jack is working on seducing a local Amish like chick (Mia Wasikowska) and a former dancer from Chicago is here to work at their restaurant (Jessica Chastain).

Hardly working
Basically a nice quiet life. But with lots of guns and violence.

Despite my best attempts to make the movie seem lame, it was a blast to see. Hardy and Clarke as the older brothers were both unique and brought a lot to their characters, especially Hardy. His low witted self always made me either chuckle or grimace based on what he was doing (or had done to him).

Gary Oldman is barely in this movie, but Guy Pearce definitely plays his own extremely unique character, so much that I couldn’t even remember what Guy Pearce actually looked and sounded like.

But Shia? Well he did a fine job too. Didn’t ruin the movie like I thought he would, but I am disappointed that he was the main character and not Forrest.

I think the movie could have been a bit shorter than what happened though, or even better, just less “down” scenes. The church scene was really odd, and I do’t know why they never really explained what the heck was going on there. There won’t be any sequels to the movie, as the entire story is told, which is a shame. I’d almost want to see more of Forrest and Howard when they were younger and just getting started.

3 out of 4.