In this gameshow style challenge, Tara Hartnett and Sam Kench compete to identify songs that were famously used in movies. Play along at home, there are three points available for each song, song name, artist/band name, and the name of a movie it was used in.
Ryan Bingham is a corporate downsizing expert with a job traveling around the country firing people. Ryan, played by George Clooney, enjoys living out of a suitcase, but finds that lifestyle threatened when he meets the frequent-traveler woman of his dreams
WATCH THE REVIEW
Sam Kench reviews the 2009 Jason Reitman film Up In the Air starring George Clooney, Anna Kendrick, and Vera Farmiga.
FUN FACT VIA IMDB
“A large amount of the people we see fired in the film are not actors but people who were recently laid off. The filmmakers put out ads in St. Louis and Detroit posing as a documentary crew looking to document the effect of the recession. When people showed up, they were instructed to treat the camera like the person who fired them and respond as they did or use the opportunity to say what they wished they had. A way to discern who are the actors and who are the real people is that the real people do not have dialogue with George Clooney or Anna Kendrick, as they were shot separately. Jason Reitman did this intentionally, feeling that the real people would freak out Clooney and Kendrick.”
Sam Kench reviews the 2015 post apocalyptic 80’s throwback Turbo Kid written and directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell , and Yoann-Karl Whissell, and starring Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Aaron Jeffrey, and Michael Ironside.
If you think Turbo Kid looks like your cup of tea you can find it on Amazon right here
Sam Kench and Tara Hartnett review the 2015 dystopian absurdist drama The Lobster directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou, and starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman and John C. Reilly.
If you think The Lobster looks interesting you can click here to check it out on Amazon
Sam Kench and Tara Hartnett review the 2012 animated film It’s Such a Beautiful Day written, directed, and voiced by Don Hertzfeldt.
There was a professional audio set up for this review done by Brian Hubbard.
Sam Kench reviews the 2015 Netflix original film “Beasts of No Nation” starring Abraham Attah and Idris Elba and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga
Sam Kench and Tara Hartnett review Room from 2015 written by Emma Donoghue (adapted from her own novel), directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Who directed the excellent Frank the year before) and starring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay.
Sam Kench reviews the 2015 film The Hateful Eight written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Tim Roth, and Demian Bichir.
This review is from about over a month ago with the film was first released. Click below to watch the
The Hateful 8 is set 6 or 8 or 12 years after the Civil War in blistering cold, snowy Wyoming, and a blizzard is coming. Bounty Hunter John Ruth is bringing his bounty, Ms. Daisy to the town of Red Rock where she’s scheduled hang for her crimes. Along the way he and his wagon driver Olie pick up two strangers; another bounty hunter and former union soldier, Major Marquis Warren, and a former southern renegade who claims to be the new mayor of Red Rock, Chris Mannix. The impending storm forces them to stop at Minnie’s. Rather than being greeted by the bubbly Minnie, four strangers have taken up residence in the shop/stage coach station to wait out the storm. As the storm takes over the mountainside cabin worlds collide. Who’s fate is it to make it out alive?
By Sam Kench, who watched “Birdman” at Red River Theatres in Concord, NH
“Birdman” is a dramedy starring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, and Zach Galifianakis among others. Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thompson an actor known for a superhero role from his past (not unlike Keaton himself) who is now trying to regain relevance and prove his worth as a serious actor by putting on a dramatic stage production.
“Birdman” features a lot of comedy, which could be argued as its primary genre, but the film features incredibly strong dramatic elements as well. The film has a very good grasp of its tones and blends the genres wonderfully. It is very funny on more than one level and had me laughing multiple times throughout. “Birdman” is capable of being funny and serious within the same scene, and even within the same moment. A scene that begins with a comedic tone can evolve into a highly emotional confrontation and vice versa. The dialogue in “Birdman” always feels natural and more notably features incredibly dynamic and realistic arguments. In most movies if an argument is going to take place, the character will initiate their dialogue directly in the conflict, but in “Birdman” characters may start an argument about something small and inconsequential and use it to ramp up to the issues that truly plague their minds, as people often do.
The acting is fantastic all around. Every single performance, no matter how small is perfect. This is Michael Keaton’s largest role in quite a while and he deserves an Oscar nomination for his performance in this film. In fact “Birdman” also deserves Oscar nominations for best picture, director, and cinematography at least. Keaton’s character is very complex and makes for an impressive performance. Edward Norton is pretty much great in every role he plays and here is no exception. Emma Stone and Naomi Watts are both excellent as well and each of them are given scenes where they can really showcase their full acting ability. I was thinking that Zach Galifianakis might have been playing a purely comedic role, but he also has an opportunity to show off some impressive dramatic acting alongside the comedy.
The score to “Birdman” is great. It creates a fully defined style for the film right from the opening credits. The music done by Antonio Sanchez is fantastic. The soundtrack features mostly percussion and was stuck in head hours after the movie ended. “Birdman” features a soundtrack worth owning on its own and serves as the final layer of glaze on an already excellent film.
The most impressive aspect of “Birdman” is the way it is shot. The entire film aside from a short sequence is presented as one continuous unbroken shot. There are cuts in the film, but they are hidden. The editing is disguised to look as the camera is floating through the environment as an observer. As a filmmaker I can recognize places where cuts may have been placed, but most people likely won’t. I was amazed by the cinematography. The filming style had me completely captivated and serves to make the viewer more immersed in the film. The single continuous shot is a technical marvel and especially impressive when considering that the film takes place over multiple days in a variety of locations.
The presentation of Birdman is simply amazing. The director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, is a true master of his craft. The direction of Birdman as a whole is impeccable. This is a true feat of filmmaking.
Birdman is one of the best films of 2014. Everything about it, right down to the credits, is perfect. For now Birdman is in limited release and I was able to see it at Red River Theatres in Concord, NH. Definitely check this film out if you can.
Welcome to the 7th day of our Fourth Annual Macabre Month of Horror. Today’s review is on the movie “The Orphanage“.
“The Orphanage“ tells the story of Laura, a woman who has moved back with her husband and adopted son into the orphanage in which she grew up. They plan on starting a home for disabled children, but there appear to be ghosts at work. “The Orphanage” is a prime ghost story. It is creepy on many levels, hauntingly beautiful and one of the saddest horror movies you will ever see with a bittersweet ending that might just make you tear up.
Please keep in mind these are Horror Movies and the video reviews contain content from the films that may not be appropriate for younger viewers, or those with a weak constitution for that matter.
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Macabre Month of Horror: Movie Review #7 “The Orphanage“
If you liked what Sam had to say about “The Orphanage” and want to watch it for yourself, CLICK HERE to watch it on Amazon Instant Video.