InterstellarI saw Christopher Nolan’s latest epic on 35mm in the recently restored Egyptian Theater on Capitol Hill in Seattle last night and it was…intense. I cannot think of a better word to describe this film. First of all, let me warn you that this dystopic future piece is three hours long. However, it kept my attention the entire film unlike other hero movies that leave me bored around the two hour mark, but I still think they could have cut a lot and it still would have had the same impact. Nonetheless, if you’re a fan of Nolan and his score heavy, plot/logic twisting style, you’ll love this film.

I won’t divulge an entire summary of the plot but it does provide an appropriate vehicle for the McConnaissance leading into the next Oscar season. A widower family man leaves Earth to save the world and his family only to find impossible odds. The narrative is nothing new to moviegoers but the cinematography is spectacular. In the vein of last year’s Gravity, in fact, that scientific concept is the driving force of Interstellar, coincidence? Doubtful. I’ve read a few articles online that the C.G. black hole in the film is very scientifically accurate – just a nugget for those astroscience nerds out there.

Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain, Matt Damon, and Casey Affleck star in this film. If McConaughey and his down home colloquialisms annoy you, don’t bother seeing this in the theater, because the main character is an amusing combo of his classic Texan persona with a twist of serious actor and he’s in 90% of the film. Although I’m not a huge fan of Hathaway, her character isn’t major enough to ruin anything and Jessica Chastain’s performance overshadows all other female roles. As for Matt Damon, he’s a villain and an obstacle to the fateful hero, but the entire audience laughed as he was introduced on screen. Why? The only reason I can come up with is because of Team America. I can’t see this actor without that line, “Matt Damon” running through my mind. It is so hard to take him seriously.

One big thing I did not enjoying during the film: the sound. The overall film score was like an emotionally abusive boyfriend screaming in your ear to feel what he’s feeling no matter how irrational or extreme. I don’t respond well to heavy-handed emotional manipulation so I only had one brief teary moment during the entire film when there were at least 5 big tear-jerking scenes. Nolan is known for his ominous scores but this one actually distracted and often disrupted the diegetic sound and dialogue thus leaving the audience saying, “Huh?”

The story as a whole is long, complicated, emotionally overwrought, scientifically compelling but ultimately a bit much. There was so much going on in the film that it took an hour to tie up all the loose ends. Personally, I prefer films that end on a semi-ambiguous note and this one did not. It was too neat. Considering the magnitude of the story, I felt that more could have been left up to the audience to resolve in their own imaginations.

Overall, I enjoyed the film but it had plenty of flaws, however, it’s worth seeing in the theater if for no other reason than experiencing the cinematography. I give the film three and a half out of five spectacles.

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Yelle live

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Yelle Live in Seattle @ Neumos

A few weeks ago, my French friend invited me to see one of her favorite band perform, Yelle, in Seattle at Neumos. The ticket was relatively inexpensive and from what I saw of their music on YouTube it seemed like a fun idea. Little did I know what a rockin’ show Yelle would put on and how many people would be there screaming like schoolgirls. First off, Yelle is known for her supposedly crude lyrics of song, “Je veux te voir,” that responded to a French band’s, Cuizinier, sexist and vulgar song. I like any woman willing to stand up against the patriarchal hegemony whether it’s here or in France. Regardless of lyric content, the show put on for us at Neumos (a relatively small venue), was superb. Below is a little taste.

I wish I had more to say about Yelle and their music but I don’t speak French and I am very new to their repertoire. I’ll be sure to add them to my Spotify next week and keep an eye out for another show. The production value was amazing considering the small space they had to work with but the lights were just perfect. The music is pop and highly danceable. If you’re into just getting down to some great beats, check Yelle out. I loved the show and would recommend Yelle to anyone into dance music.

By the way, either GrandMarnier or Tepr is hot! I couldn’t see her drummer and keyboardist very well from where I was standing but one took a video of the crowd. Whom ever it was, voux etes un mec chaud…add in a French accent, jump on it!

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Hozier Live in Seattle @ Showbox

A couple of nights ago I went to the Hozier show at the Showbox in downtown Seattle and it was fantastic. The fact that I attended is a miracle of sorts, since I rarely go to shows unless they are bands that include someone I know. I was so stoked about Hozier that I went alone, no friend to squeal with, no date to paw at me, just me alone in the sea of faces swaying with the incredible melodies that young Andrew Hozier-Byrne creates.

Admittedly, I arrived about an hour later than I should have in order to get a decent spot inside the venue (aka, somewhere with a seat) but I decided after a glass of wine that I’d brave the general admission floor in front of the stage. That means, stand with the underage crowd. By the time Hozier took the stage, the place was packed and rowdy. There were countless young women going gaga over the Irish crooner and one particularly annoying audience member that wouldn’t shut her valley girl mouth about all these singers she likes not mention singing every lyric of Hozier’s songs. Ugh. [Insert eye roll]

My thirty-something self was verging on elbow throwing anger when Hozier finally hit the stage around 9:30pm and the music put forth lulled me into crowd tolerating submission. The first song played was one of my favorites, “Like Real People Do” – video posted for your viewing pleasure. The artist appeared humble and maybe a bit shy, addressing the crowd infrequently and mostly speaking out of necessity, his demeanor is especially charming if you like introverted guys. Hozier was exactly how I imagined due to my frequent viewing of YouTube videos of his performances. A young, softly rugged Irishman with thrown together style and just a hint of hipster.

He played nearly every song on his debut self-titled album, paying special attention to all the songs released via EP, including his duet with artist Karen Cowley. Most of the show included his rather diverse band but Hozier took the stage alone for a few songs before bringing his crew back for the finale. During his solo performance he included one cover of a Skip James song, “Illinois Blues,” that I believe the artist hoped the audience would recognize. Crickets…that’s what was heard, unfortunately, he overestimates his fans’ music knowledge beyond millennial pop. Hozier’s version of this 1930 blues song was gorgeous, mesmerizing me with the depth of his sensual voice before thinking to record the darn performance.

I made sure to navigate the crowd to grab a t-shirt before the final song which was Hozier’s biggest hit, “Take Me to Church.” It seemed possible that the artist was tired of playing this song since his performance was rather…relaxed. If you’ve heard the studio version, it is incredibly powerful and somewhat difficult vocally, but Hozier altered it for the show to be more casual and a display of all the instruments rather than his powerhouse vocals. Personally, I’ve heard the song enough to know it by heart and wasn’t disappointed since I mostly wanted to hear all the lesser known songs.

That being said, the show was bloody extraordinary! I highly recommend snagging some tickets if he’ll be in your area soon. If Hozier’s performance wasn’t worth the annoyance of the people around me, I would have left halfway through the session but I stayed for the entirety. The music and vocals were just brilliant and I can’t wait to buy tickets to his next show – Hozier is definitely a rising star. Check him out online here or YouTube here.

Gone Girl

Gone-Girl-poster-3-200x300Consider this a sort of dual review of both the book and movie, simply because I finished reading the book literally two hours before I left to see the film. I’m a masochist, I know. When I received the book six months ago from a friend, multiple people warned me that the characters lacked any semblance of likeability. I cracked the book that night and read about fifty pages before sitting it on my nightstand where it would stay unread for the next six months. Not that the book wasn’t intriguing, in fact, whodunit books are usually my favorite genre. However, life was more interesting at the time. Nonetheless, when I read that Ben Affleck was going to star in the film version of Gone Girl and it released at my favorite Seattle cinema (SIFF Cinema Uptown), I knew I better dust off that book. I read the remainder of the hardback in less than 24 hours before my friend and I hit the theater.

Since all the details of the book were so fresh in my mind, I was anticipating the film’s every move and it made all the discrepancies glaringly obvious. I was also expecting possibly too much as far as acting and detail. I felt like there was something severely lacking in both Ben Affleck’s and Rosamund Pike’s performances. I don’t want to say it was a bad film because it wasn’t but in comparison to the book, they lacked sufficient interior lives to understand the motives behind their actions. I don’t think a viewer who never read the book would understand how truly cold their marriage had become and the true anti-hero Nick. I think Affleck brings too much of a “good guy” star persona to adequately portray the novel’s Nick. I think he could have had more depth with; I hate to say this, a better script. Rosamund Pike did a good job as a cold ice queen but her reason for being that way was never really explained. I craved back-story! Neither character had sufficient back-story, in my opinion.

Once you read the book, you will understand how there is no true victim in the story. However, in the film, you immediately take Nick’s side and you never leave it. Albeit, even in the book, I was internally screaming at Nick to commit a murder-suicide, especially considering the bombshell at the end. See what I did there? Gillian Flynn did a brilliant job of painting Nick in an unlikeable, yet not complete villain, way for nearly half the book before you realize Amy’s true character. In the film, they rushed it. I won’t point out everything else that was missing because this review would be extremely long but I will give a few shout outs as far as spot on performances. Tyler Perry, I can’t believe I liked you in a serious role, but I did! Neil Patrick Harris, your demise was by far the best and most shocking scene.

That all being said, the film was good when you think about it less in the “how true did they stay to the book?” and more in the “what is the big picture?” sense. David Fincher did an amazing job, ensuring the audience felt the emptiness of these people and their lives. There was also just enough humor to not make it uncomfortable to watch. However, most people looked away at two scenes – you can’t have a psychopath movie without some gruesome violence, right? That crazy bitch, Amy Dunne, is probably the best psycho “see you next Tuesday” since Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction.

As I’m sure you know, there has been some argument in the press about the feminist issue and this film. Women using sex to manipulate men, going so far as to cry rape to punish them for their mistreatment of the fragile feminine ego. My two cents, it’s a movie. I don’t identify with 80% of the female characters in films and this one is no different. Amy doesn’t represent women in general; Flynn’s book is a satire, hyperbole in the most artful way. If I thought there was a reason to hate this book or film because it disrespected women, I would say it but that is not the case. If you want to hate some books because of their portrayal of women, I implore you to burn the Twilight series in my name.

Overall, I rate this film three and a half out of five spectacles. The book – I don’t rate those, just read it.
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The best of ‘The Walking Dead’ panel at Comic-Con!

BreAna Hansen:

More SDCC coverage – this time with the cast of one of my favorite shows, The Walking Dead! Check out the Season 5 trailer here…can’t wait for October.

Originally posted on The Daily Quirk:



San Diego Comic-con wouldn’t be complete with a little zombie action, so it’s no surprise that the AMC hit show, The Walking Dead, premiered the trailer for Season 5 at the convention (If you haven’t seen it, check it out here). After the crowd and MC, Nerdist and Talking Dead host, Chris Hardwick viewed the trailer everyone was stoked to talk with the cast. In attendance for the panel were Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Norman Reedus (Daryl), Emily Kinney (Beth), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), Steven Yeun (Glenn), Melissa McBride (Carol), Danai Gurira (Michonne), Michael Cudlitz (Abraham) and Chad Coleman (Tyreese). Here are a few highlights:

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The best of the ‘Under the Dome’ panel at SDCC!

BreAna Hansen:

Since I’m writing for TDQ and relatively silent here at the moment, I’ll be reblogging my articles. If you’re an SDCC or Sci-Fi nerd, you should definitely check out TDQ’s extensive coverage of Comic-Con.

Originally posted on The Daily Quirk:

UNDER THE DOME (Image Credit: CBS)

UNDER THE DOME (Image Credit: CBS)

Yesterday at San Diego Comic-con, Kevin Frazier hosted a panel with the cast and crew of the hit CBS show Under the Dome, based on a Stephen King novel. As the cast was being introduced it was noted that Rachelle Lefevre and Alexander Koch were dressed appropriately in cosplay outfits for the panel. Lefevre dressed as Battlestar Galactica’s Starbuck and Koch as The Walking Dead’s Daryl. Lefevre also made sure to tease youngster Colin Ford as he was introduced as a teen dream by pretending to be a flummoxed female fan vying for his attention. Here are some highlights from the panel:

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First official ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ trailer promises plenty of steam!

BreAna Hansen:

Although I’m not a huge 50 Shades fan…this is worth watching. Spice up your morning!

Originally posted on The Daily Quirk:

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY (Image Credit: Universal Pictures and Focus Features)

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY (Image Credit: Universal Pictures and Focus Features)

I just watched the trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey and I’m already a little inappropriately excited to see this film and I hate the books! I know, you’re all balking at me for disliking the books but that’s why my recommendation to watch this trailer (and eventually patron the film) means even more. I genuinely thought I’d be relatively underwhelmed by the teaser but I was definitely mistaken. Here are a couple reasons why I found it so tantalizing:

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