The Place Beyond the Pine

If you just saw Wonder Woman, congratulations. Your life is changed forever. If you’re like me, you want to recreate the experience every day for eternity but can only watch Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Keeping Up With The Joneses so many times until the blu-ray release. However, there was another extraordinary actor in that film. Okay, a few actually. I’m planning a Robin Wright retrospective as well, don’t you worry.
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For now, I’m more readily familiar with the work of Chris Pine. You know, the actor famous for playing Captain Kirk, having blue eyes, and being the best Hollywood Chris. He was marvelous in Wonder Woman (not that convincingly falling in love with Gal Gadot would be a hard day’s work for anyone) as Diana’s lieutenant/love-interest, in that order. I’m a big fan of the art of banter and these two pull it off swimmingly.
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From the moment he steps out of the bath lagoon to their arrival in London is hands down my favourite romantic comedy of all time. In the scene on the boat when Steve delicately and respectfully investigates Diana’s knowledge of “pleasures of the flesh” is probably my favourite line-reading of the film, if not Pine’s entire career. Highlights of which include, but are not limited to…

The Finest Hours

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I’m so glad Chris Pine got to make this movie. The story takes place in Chatham, Massachusetts in February 1952 and is based on the true story of the “greatest small boat rescue” in US Coast Guard history. Pine plays Bernie Webber who captained a lifeboat into a perilous storm to rescue 32 men from a sinking oil tanker.
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Bernie is not well liked at the Coast Guard station. They make fun of him for being too earnest and soft-spoken. He cares deeply about the rules and regulations of the Coast Guard. He won’t do anything without the permission of his commanding officer, including getting married, even after everyone tells him it’s only a formality. When he is ordered to begin rescue of the ship which requires getting “over the bar” (a series of shoals dividing the Chatham harbour from the sea) which is a very dangerous task in a storm, the other men tell him not to bother as he won’t make it and could actually die trying. He replies that it’s his job and he was ordered too so he has to try. That’s the kind of man Bernie is. He is brave and meticulous but throughout their mission he learns to be more impulsive and follow his instincts rather than blindly adhere to the wishes of his commanding officer. It starts when he realizes his lifeboat was only built for 12 men, including the 4-man crew, and there are about to be 32 more on board. On the way back he turns off his radio when ordered to return to sea, resolving that it would be easier and faster for him to find the harbour by following the lights on shore. By the end of the rescue he has earned the respect of every man at the station and those he saved, although Bernie would have done it for nothing.
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Pine gets to stretch his accent legs here as a born Massachusetts-ian, luckily surrounded by native Bostonians in the cast such as Casey Affleck and a fantastic Ben Foster. It’s nothing compared to his German accent in Wonder Woman, mind, but it is fun to listen to a group of six men with thick Boston accents repeat the phrase “over the bar” again and again.
I definitely recommend this film to anyone who wishes The Perfect Storm was made by Disney. If you hate Disney and boat movies, you might enjoy…

This Means War

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I’m honestly obsessed with this movie. It’s ridiculous how many times I’ve watched it. When my mom visited me two years ago I put it on because I genuinely thought she would enjoy it as much as I do but, she hated it. I think it’s a brilliant satire, both of how relationships are portrayed in movies and in the real world. I may be the only one who sees it that way but the overt invasions of privacy and the complete disregard for protocol or procedure by our two CIA Agent main characters would be extremely problematic otherwise. Chris Pine leans in hard to his typecasting as the All-American dashing hero and playfully spars with Tom Hardy as his rough-around-the-edges and delightfully articulate (against type for grunt-master Hardy) British partner. The two best friends wage war with each other after they both fall for Reese Witherspoon, a quality control specialist who decides to date both men without telling them (she doesn’t know they know each other) and test their boyfriendability as she sees fit. She is encouraged by married best friend Chelsea Handler who lives vicariously through her.
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The guys quickly figure out what’s happening and use their extensive government agency resources to constantly one-up each other and spy on Reese to find out what she’s looking for in a mate. Tom even has a side plot about trying to balance the demands of a career in espionage with fatherhood (can anyone truly have it all??) and he’s not above flaunting his son around Reese to show her how sensitive and paternal he is. It’s extremely silly, mad-cap fun and it was filmed around my old haunts in Vancouver. Most notably the now nonexistent three-story HMV on Robson that they re-purpose as a video rental store (this movie is only five years old but that scene was set in the late 90s) in which Reese and Chris meet-cute. I have a lot of happy memories in that store so it’s bittersweet for me to see it so lovingly portrayed on film.
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It’s nice to see Hardy lighten up a bit and, whether or not you enjoy the finished product, it’s clear the cast and crew had a great time making it. I really can’t recommend this movie enough, as long as you approach it as a comment on romantic stalking (which occurs all the time in rom-coms) and not, like, a movie about a guy who drugs his best friend to stop him from having sex with the woman they’re both dating. Or if you prefer your Chris Pine to be a little more arrogant and in space, look no further than…

Star Trek

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You might not know this about me, but I am a sucker for a reboot. Or a remake. Or even a decades-later sequel in the same universe. It doesn’t matter. Even if I’ve never seen the original and have no plan to do so. The less I know about the franchise the better. Such was the case when Star Trek came out in 2009. I was familiar with the concept of Star Trek but I didn’t really care for it. This was all about to change.
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Star Trek changed my perception of sci-fi movies. They could be funny! The sequence where Bones drugs Kirk and sneaks him on to the Enterprise brought me back to the theatre five times. Chris Pine really came out swinging. He had the swagger and the smoulder of a typical leading man and the raw talent of a character actor. His Kirk, due to a rejigging of the timeline, spends the bulk of the story trying to prove he’s worthy of his father’s legacy by denying that he is, in fact, worthy of his father’s legacy. It’s a curious balancing act between stubborn heroism and crushing self-doubt. Kirk naturally ascends to Captain of the enterprise by the time the credits role because, movies, and gets to keep all the friends he made along the way as his crew.
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The rest of the cast is equally fantastic, boasting Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, and the late, great Anton Yelchin. It’s a fun romp through space that explores themes of family and belonging (this is a popular theme for space-romps) while also being action-packed and sufficiently dramatic to keep the audience invested in the goings on. Even if you’ve never watched or enjoyed a Star Trek in your life, this is an excellent place to start. If you’re not interested in seeing Chris Pine play another hero, how about a villain?

Horrible Bosses 2

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You may not know this about me, but I’m a sucker for a sequel. And I LOVED Horrible Bosses but I could watch Horrible Bosses 2 every day for a year and never grow tired of it. Well, maybe not, but certainly once or twice a month. I think my current record is three times in one weekend and it’s all due to Chris Pine and his portrayal of the villainous Rex Hanson. He’s so so so good. Also do yourself a favour and peep that booty in the scene where he crawls out of the trunk. Those grey jeans are doing God’s work.
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This character could have been so terrible. A rich douchebag who orchestrates his own kidnapping and then double-crosses his partners in crime isn’t supposed to be likeable but Pine makes it work. He’s just so damn charming! Charming and charismatic with the attitude of someone who moves through life free of obstacles. He puts everyone at ease with his buddy-buddy routine and his piercing blue eyes that somehow appear bluer when he cries. Chris Pine maxes out his own earnestness in this role, giving a rousing speech to inspire our heroes to take down the man and get their due! Even if it will surely land them all in prison. When he arrives at Nickurtdale’s offices to begin the kidnapping, he immediately makes himself at home, like the overly-privileged man he is. I also love the display of arrogance when he calls out Dale’s racist Mexican accent the very morning after taunting his Asian maid with an equally racist accent.
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The brainstorming montage is crazy good. I especially like the bit where they’re all on their phones, even alleged victim Rex. He’s exactly the kind of idiot who would Instagram his own kidnapping. At one point Jason Sudeikis announces that they are way better at kidnapping than murder and I’m inclined to agree. This Horrible Bosses is much lighter and more fun than the previous entry, even if it suffers from a severe lack of Colin Farrell. I wish it had been successful enough to ensure a threequel because I would be very interested in seeing what hijinks these guys keep getting into. There are so many more crimes to almost commit! Such as bank robbing. Which reminds me of another fantastic Chris Pine movie…

Hell or High Water

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This was absolutely my favourite movie from last year. The script, (which earned Taylor Sheridan an Academy Award Nomination) is a masterful slow burn story, unfolding just enough to keep you compelled and wanting more. Chris Pine and Ben Foster play brothers who start robbing banks to save their mother’s house from foreclosure. The pair have an easy chemistry and genuine bond as they’ve worked together previously in the aforementioned The Finest Hours.
Here Pine sheds his trademark cockiness, tries to hide his good looks behind an unkempt moustache (it doesn’t work), and turns in one of the finest performances of his career. There was even a slight Oscar buzz about him, which I feel would be richly deserved and might not be too far from his reach if he keeps doing films of this caliber.
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His co-star, Ben Foster, is certainly no slouch himself and delivers an energetic and authentic performance as a reckless Texan. His character was so precise and someone I am very familiar with. From the tobacco chewing to the fiery temper and constant drinking, I know that dude. I grew up with those dudes in Alberta, AKA Canada’s Texas. There’s a scene when Chris wakes Ben up and he startles him so much he jumps off the couch and almost decks his brother. At first I thought it was just a weird reaction but then I realized: he’s been to prison. He can never let his guard down, especially at night. I’m not sure if that was imagined by the writer, director, or actor but it’s the kind of specific character detail I LIVE FOR.
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I confess I still haven’t gotten around to Chris Pine’s early work (Unstoppable, Just My Luck, or The Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement) although I might have to make a point of doing so. I also have yet to see his episode of Saturday Night Live, which was praised as a momentous achievement for the multi-talented performer. Move over, Timberlake. 
It’s clear from this list that Pine can make lemonade from any old lemon he comes across and has forever cemented his status in Hollywood as the reigning champion of Chrises. Sorry Hemsworth.

Girl Gang

This is something Christa did awhile back and I’ve been planning mine for some time. Basically what female characters would you want as friends IRL and why. (I promise this won’t just be a list of women I have crushes on.) (Never mind, I take that back.)

Gisele Yashar from 4-6 of the Fast and Furious franchise played by Gal Gadot.
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She’s tough, she’s smart, and extremely stylish. I could stand to be more stylish. I would probably be terrified of her at first because she’s so gorgeous and strong but she would eventually warm up to me and teach me to throw a punch.

Veronica Mars from Veronica Mars played by Kristen Bell.
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I know for a fact my life would be better if I had Veronica on call. She’s fiercely loyal and you do not want to cross her. Still though, she has a warm heart and infinite second chances for the people she feels are worth it. She’s still even civil with Dick Casablancas.

Carol Solomon from In a World… played by Lake Bell.
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She’s funny, she smart, she’s ruthless but kind. She loves her sister and brother-in-law and she’s a bit of a mess. I love her and I think we would be great friends. She could help me with my accents and do all the voice-over work for my projects.

Susan Cooper from Spy played by Melissa McCarthy.
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It was really hard to choose just one Melissa McCarthy character because I love them all but in the end I had to go with Susan Cooper because, obviously, she is a spy, and a damn good one. She’s capable and resourceful and very tough and smart and sweet and loving but will mess you up if you’re not careful.

C.J. Cregg from The West Wing played by Allison Janney.
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Honestly, what I wouldn’t give for just an hour with C.J. I can’t think of any character, male or female, who has inspired me more in my life than C.J. She is the epitome of a strong, independent woman, who still likes the occasional man, can be flirty while still commanding respect and is smart, but not a know-it-all and has more integrity and gumption than anyone she’s ever worked with or for. And to see “The Jackal” live just once? Baby, that’s the dream.

What Kind of Writer?

Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature today which has enraged some people as he’s technically never written a novel. I guess. I haven’t looked that much into it. The selection committee determined that his hundreds of songs qualified as poetry and were impressive and important enough to warrant commendation.

This reminds me of a line in the film End of the Tour which is about Rolling Stone journalist David Lipsky following novelist David Foster Wallace on his book tour for Infinite Jest. When Lipsky pitches his idea for the article his editor tells him “Rolling Stone doesn’t interview writers.” and I remember thinking “Okay, I guess tell that to all the singer-songWRITERS you’ve interviewed over the years.”
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When did we decide that the only serious writers were novelists? If pressed I’d have to say my five favorite writers working right now are Lin-Manuel Miranda, Shea Serrano, Megan Amram, Ed Brubaker, and Mallory Ortberg. A few of them have published books but they definitely aren’t considered novelists. I don’t read a lot of novels (although I did make and effort this summer to read a few more) but I’m on twitter every day. I follow a half-dozen entertainment news sites for reviews, recaps, and articles. And I watch a lot of movies and television. All of which has to be written by someone.

I spoke with a friend recently about writing and he asked me how often do I write. In truth, I write something every day. I’m constantly writing. But how often do I finish something and send it off into the world? Much less frequently. I identify as a writer and invariably someone always wants to know “What kind?” and then I have to take them though a tale of my education and my ambitions in my chosen field and on and on. It’s exhausting although I understand the interest. The truth is, I haven’t quite figured out what kind of writer I want to be yet. I doubt I’ll ever write a novel but who knows? I love theatre and television and that’s where I’m focusing my interest at the moment.

There’s a great scene in one of my favorite movies, Igby Goes Down (written by Burr Steers), that I think sums up my experience.

Russell (played by Jared Harris) and Igby (Kieran Culkin) have just been introduced by Rachel (Amanda Peet) who described Russell as “a brilliant artist.”
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Igby: So, you’re an artist? What kind of art?
Russell: What do you mean, “What kind of art?”
Igby: I mean… do you paint.. or..
Russell: I got what you meant, but you obviously didn’t get what I meant. An artist creates art regardless of what form the canvas takes.

It’s meant to be funny, to show Russell and Rachel as the pretentious neo-bohemian West Villagers they are, but the line has always stuck with me.

An artist creates art regardless of what form the canvas takes. 

Think about that the next time you wonder out loud “what kind” of writer someone is.

Gilmores to the Front

I was originally just going to comment on Bassy’s incredible sum-up but I realized I had TOO MUCH TO SAY and being a day behind on Blogtober meant I might as well take the opportunity to turn it into a post. HERE BE SPOILERS IF YE HAVEN’T SEEN THE FINAL SEASON. 

Gilmore Girls means the world to me. I watched the pilot the first day it aired. I remember being completely enamored of Lorelai from moment one and I ‘shipped her and Luke before we even had a word for it.

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Kiss him, dummy.

I agree with A LOT of what Christa said (HELL YES to Rory and Jess finally boning and DEAN IS THE FUCKING WORST) except there was never any question of whether or not I was attracted to Luke. I found him irresistible. He is by far the most stable, reliable, generous, and considerate man in television history. People like to make fun of how grumpy he is but he is so incredibly loving to Lorelai and Rory it’s impossible to see him in a negative way, I think.
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I will never forgive Anna Nordini for stealing fatherhood from him. She claims she did it because he “hated” kids and always complained about their sticky hands but anyone who has met Luke or spent intimate time with him would know that he was an honorable man and would want to know that he had a child! But also, Luke Danes was born to be a dad! He was Rory’s dad (the scene at the vow-renewal party when he argues with Christopher (also the worst) over who was a better dad to Rory KILLS ME) and he was Jess’ dad (which makes the Rory/Jess thing kinda awkward but whatevs) and he was even a dad to his own sister after theirs passed away. He even had a bit of dad left in him for bizarre Kirk.

Luke loves unconditionally. He will bend over backwards to help anyone in the entire stupid town do anything but of course he always had an extra soft spot for Lorelai. Who didn’t, to be honest. She was an extraordinary woman, manager, friend, and mom. Although she did get lucky with boring old Rory.
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Okay, I don’t think Rory is boring, except, yeah, she kind of is. I think Logan was good for her but I’m glad she didn’t marry him. He kind of brought her out of her shell a little bit and let her make mistakes and learn from them. Dean just expected her to be perfect all the time (he was the worst) and Jess was dealing with too much of his own shit to be a good partner. I wish Rory and Jess could have met as adults. I really hope they finally hook up in the revival. I guarantee he’s better in the sack than whiny Dean.
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The true love of Rory’s life, however, was Paris. No one else challenged or supported her as much as Paris did, and she reciprocated in kind. They were there for each other through it all, to back each other up or back each other down, depending on the situation. It was a true symbiotic relationship. I know Rory loved Lane too but they were never on the same level. Theirs was more of a “survived childhood but now what?” relationship. In fact, once Rory moved away, Lane became closer with Lorelai.roryandlane.jpg
I do hate what happened to Lane. She deserved so much better. I mean… Zack?… really? And then twins? On the first try?! Here’s hoping they got divorced, she got back together with Seth Cohen, and was finally able to enjoy sex. I loved their band though. Sebastian Bach was amazing.

I loved Sookie. I loved that she was this incredible chef who was obsessive and awkward and funny and everyone loved her. I wish she would have had a more exciting love life though, not that there was anything wrong with Jackson and pickins were slim in Stars Hollow, but it would have been fun to see her date around a bit more. I love the episode when she’s on bedrest and Luke has to take over her kitchen and she gets her staff to bring her the food so she can check up on him. I adore Michele as well, especially his relationship with Emily.
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Emily and Richard are a tricky pair. I do sympathize with them but I also get so angry at them. But then I remember that it isn’t their fault and they were raised by the same kinds of people they became and it’s just an endless cycle of wealth and shame and doing things just because that’s “what’s done” and never seeing a way out unless you’re 16 and pregnant and know deep in your heart that you will never be your parents. And it sucks they didn’t get to watch Rory grow up but she had such an amazing life that I don’t feel that bad, you know?
babette-misspatty.jpgOf course, you can’t imagine Stars Hollow without Miss Patty and Babette, by far my fave ancillary characters. Babette and Morey were just so perfect and in love and Miss Patty was so happy and saucy all on her own. She owned her past, present, future, and every room she stepped into. They really made the show for me. Also Gyspy, the mechanic. Loved her.

As you can well imagine by this point, I’m very excited for the revival. I think I’ve seen the entire series about three times now and I’m going to give it another go around before the 25th. As stated, I want to see or at least have knowledge of a Rory/Jess hook up, no mention of Dean or Christopher unless they’ve died in a horrible accident together, for Luke and Lorelai to be married and for Luke to have Fathered the hell out of April Nordini including but not limited to: teaching her how to drive, moving her to college, (he knows all about the mattresses now) and, idk, he probably bought her a car and spent months doing research for the safest and most fuel efficient model and ran her through a drill for every possible weather/road/accident scenario and gave her a back up cell phone in case hers dies. And a back up for the back up because, and I can not stress this enough, LUKE DANES WAS BORN TO BE A DAD.

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Full Blown Dad Mode.

Dad!Luke is all I care about. Dad!Luke is everything. Thank you for listening.

Are You Talking Taika To Me?

There is something magical about Academy Award Nominated writer/director/producer/actor Taika Waititi. Just to be clear and get it out of the way up top, he is extremely handsome.
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Like, I just.. Okay moving on.

Like most hard working comedy fans, I first heard of Waititi’s work through Flight of the Conchords, the wonderfully bizarre two-season wonder created by and starring Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie. He wrote and directed one of my favorite episodes, season one’s “Drive By” AKA the one where Bret and Jemaine get into a “race war” with Aziz Ansari.

And, like most of you, I sought out Eagle vs Shark to fill the Flight of the Conchords shaped hole in my heart and found it to be uncomfortable and awkward but in the most endearing and compelling way. I still regularly think about the scene where Lily follows Jarred around the hill singing “Let’s Dance” quite poorly.
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I had the great fortune of seeing Boy at the Metro Cinema in Edmonton while volunteering. I don’t even think I knew what was playing that day, I just happened to have a shift. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. Boy is a gorgeous film about growing up and all the messy shit that goes with it, from the point of view of an extremely marginalized child who feels completely average.

Waititi writes small. Smaller than any American independent filmmakers working today. He doesn’t write movies; he writes moments. He writes feelings. He writes personal expressions. And then his masterful director (which is also him) takes over and films it in soul-shaking close-ups and grandiose wide shots.
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His next film, the hilarious and avant garde What We Do in the Shadows was a return to his work in comedy, evidently at the behest of comedy-writing partner Jemaine Clement. The film is largely improvised and shot as a documentary yet still it is uniquely Waititian. After telling us the story of how he ended up in New Zealand, his character puts on a silver necklace given to him by his long-lost love. He can’t wear it without it burning his flesh but he puts it on anyway–regularly, it seems–for the sense of connection to the woman he still loves. It’s funny because it’s absurd but also heartbreaking because it is so relatable.

Earlier this year, perhaps to reset expectations, Waititi released another coming-of-age tale, also set in New Zealand. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is probably my favorite of his films so far. It combines every thing I loved about the last three. I have complete faith in his ability to tackle his next project, 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok.
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Thor: Ragnarok comes out on my birthday next year and I’m happy to think of it as Taika Waititi’s personal gift to me. Thank you, Taika. It’s just what I always wanted.

Sequels Make the World Go Round

Unpopular Opinion Puffin Time: I bloody love sequels. Truly and non-ironically. In fact, I often skip the original and just watch the sequel (partly because I grow wearing of world-building) because THEY ARE BETTER. It’s simple math. free-willy-2-the-adventure-home-535eabd461e0eFree Willy 2: The Adventure Home has 100% more Francis Capra AKA Eli “Weevil” Navarro. So it’s a 100% better movie (but I will still watch them both because Free Willy is amazing) and also Willy and Jesse are already friends so we don’t have to watch them fight.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was directed by Neveldine/Taylor (who perfected the sequel with Crank: High Voltage) and has 100% more Idris Elba. 100% better movie.
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National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets
has 100% more Helen Mirren. I REST MY CASE.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Better movie than Jurassic Park. It has way more Jeff Goldblum and 100% less Sam Neill. It works both ways.
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Horrible Bosses 2 has 100% more Chris Pine. I feel like you know where I’m going with this one.

I know you’re thinking, But Lightle, aren’t you a writer? Don’t you wish Hollywood would make original movies instead of a bunch of sequels every year?

I do wish that, dear reader, but I know that that is not the world we live in. General audiences are hesitant to make a time and money commitment to something they aren’t sure they’re going to like. I also know that Hollywood is not just one person. It is a studio system run by many individuals competing with each other for your $15 bucks every Friday night. They know that most people (who are not me) are only going to one, maybe two movies a month and just as you make wise spending choices based on the properties that you already know and love, so do they.

What I wish would change is how sequels are made. Make it easier for someone else to take over the franchise. Make movie spin-offs a thing. I’m always in favor of long-form story telling. I love television and comic book series for this very reason. If I become attached to a group of characters, I’m not ready to say goodbye to them after a couple hours. I need to know what else happens. I say, keep the sequels coming! Here’s a few to start with:

W.E., directed by Madonna. I am DESPERATE to know what happened with Wally and Evgeni. Do they raise the baby? Do they stay together? Does she ever figure out what happened to Wallis?? I want more.
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Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, directed by Jake Szymanski. Obviously it’s set at Dave and Alice’s wedding. Mike and Tatiana have some problem. Alice is having flashbacks to her first wedding and can’t deal. Cue hijinks.

Reality Bites, directed by Ben Stiller. I watched this the other day (for an upcoming Winona Ryder retrospective) and it blew my mind how closely the experiences of these Gen Xers mirrored what is happening today to millennials. I’m kind of on the cusp between generations and I found myself strongly identifying with their struggles. It would be interesting to see the characters again now, 20 years later. They might have children who are now going through similar problems but are powerless to assist or even empathize because of how differently they view the world. Also I want to see if Lelaina and Troy are still together…

The Heat, directed by Paul Feig. Seriously though, where is my The Heat sequel, The Heat 2: Even Hotter? IT WRITES ITSELF! Complications arise when Mullins doesn’t tell Ashburn that she doesn’t want to be in the FBI and she wants to stay in Boston and Ashburn assumes it’s because she thinks she’s not good enough for the FBI. All while they’re taking down the real criminals of this country: the banks.
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Super stoked for that Spy sequel starring franchise king Jason Statham, but that’s a topic for another day. Possibly tomorrow.

 

 

 

Only Nerds Left Alive

Okay so I love a good fancast. So much so that I am low-key exploring a career in casting. Imagining different actors in specific roles is one of my favourite pastimes.

In the last episode of season 3 of Silicon Valley, Erlich has a phone conversation with Nelson “Big Head” Bigetti’s father, warning him that if he has “any financial dealings with his son in perpetuity” he will “get very Italian” on him. Which paints quite the picture. Who could be Italian enough to scare Erlich Bachman out of trying to extort more money from Big Head? Let the fancast begin!

First, we must consider the age factor. Josh Brener (who plays Big Head) is 31 years old, but I think the characters on Silicon Valley are supposed to be younger, so let’s say mid-20s at the most. My first thought was Robert De Niro or Martin Scorsese (who already has a relationship with HBO) but they are both well into their 70s. I read a recap of the episode wherein the reviewer posited that Bobby Cannavale would be a good choice, but he’s only 46 and I think maybe too young to be Big Head’s dad.

Ray Liotta
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is 62 and not actually Italian (he was adopted by a nice Italian family) but I can’t think of anyone more associated with violent Italians that isn’t Robert De Niro. And he’s been great in other comedy shows.

Stanley Tucci
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is 55 and fully Italian as well as equally menacing and hilarious. And he’s been known to do small television roles.

Christopher Meloni
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is also 55 and completely terrifying. He’s also done good work in comedy, but there’s no part of me that believes he doesn’t know how to dispose of a body.

Since HBO has the means to hire anyone they want any time, it’s just a matter of who they think best fits the show. I believe any of these guys could do an amazing job. I can’t wait until next April to see if I’m right.