Happy 10 Year Anniversary To The Hangover

Ten years ago, The Hangover premiered in theaters and catapulted into the upper tier of great comedic movies of the 21st century. I remember seeing The Hangover with my sister in the theaters and I couldn’t stop laughing. I kept thinking “Is this what really happens in Las Vegas?” (Vegas Trip TBD. That’s on me.) Watching old clips makes me realize that The Hangover almost has an underrated appeal to it because of the sour taste left in our mouths from Hangover II and Hangover III. Let’s not mention those again. What I love about The Hangover (and any great comedic movie) is the plethora of one-liners. I tweeted one out today. I don’t care if this is wrong and makes me an immature 12-year-old. I will always laugh when Alan simulates Carlos masturbating. It’s funny!

There’s no point in having the “could this movie be made today” debate because it would never be made. Let’s just enjoy The Hangover for what it is, which is a fucking hysterical film. It launched the careers of (my boy) Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and especially Zach Galifianakis. All three are throwing in the 90 mph for their performances, but Galifianakis is approaching 100mph. Enjoy these clips from The Hangover. Thanks a lot, Bin Laden.

Robert Pattinson Has Been Tapped To Play ‘The Batman’

Wow. I did not see this coming. According to Justin Kroll of Variety, Robert Pattinson has been tapped to play Bruce Wayne in The Batman. To say I didn’t expect this casting would be an understatement. Names like Jake Gyllenhaal, Kit Harington, Armie Hammer, and even Timothee Chalamet were all rumored to play Bruce Wayne at some point, but not once did I even consider Pattinson. Most people still associate Pattinson for his role as Edward Cullen in the Twilight franchise. However, Pattinson has been showing off his acting chops in smaller, independent films over the years. He shined in The Lost City of Z and Good Time. Pattinson has this weird appeal to him. He’s handsome, but I wouldn’t say he’s A-list handsome. He can definitely act and lead a franchise, but it’s the smaller, quirky roles that standout for me.

I’m very interested to see Matt Reeves’ version of the iconic superhero. I was a huge fan of Reeves’ work in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes. Here’s the thing. Nothing will ever touch Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. There will never be a comparison. If it’s a carbon copy version of Bruce Wayne, it will fail miserably. However, if Reeves and Pattinson can put a newer, weirder, and darker spin on Bruce Wayne, I’m all for it. See you in 2021, Batman.

The First Reactions To Avengers: Endgame Are Here And They’re Epic

We have reached the endgame. Last night, Avengers: Endgame had its world premiere Monday night at the Los Angeles Convention Center and the first reactions hit social media shortly after. To describe the first reactions in one word, I would use “epic.”

Mood after reading these tweets.

I’m not emotionally and physically ready to see Avengers: EndgameWho am I kidding? Obviously, I’m ready to see this film, but it’s going to be a whirlwind of emotions. I’m not a cryer, but I tend to get some water residue forming in the eyes. I sound like such a douche for saying that, but at least I’m an honest douche. Saying goodbye to my favorite superhero in the MCU, Captain America, will be tough, but defeating Thanos will make it worthwhile. Here’s to hoping this epic running shot is in Endgame.

Avengers: Endgame and the Battle at Winterfell in Game of Thrones in the span of a few days are so epic and yet so cruel. There will be deaths left and right. I can’t wait.

15 Years of ‘The Girl Next Door’: The Movie That Taught Us More Than We Ever Thought

For guys in their mid-to-late 20’s, The Girl Next Door is a certified classic. I saw it for the first time going into the sixth grade as an 11-year-old, and will always watch it if I come across it on the movie channels. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen it start-to-finish, but thankfully, It’s landed in the HBO rotation the past couple weeks. I’m not sure if that’s a coincidence, with Monday serving as the 15th anniversary since the Luke Greenfield-directed flick hit theaters.

Now, I spend most of the time either laughing at how dumb I was for believing their depiction of the high school experience, or how a lot of the dialogue and symbolism probably went way over my head 15 years ago. I feel like the first 10 years of life are a blur, and then we start to slow down time and develop a better understanding of how things in the world work around 6th grade.

Long before the days of Tinder and Bumble, you were pretty much stuck with whoever was in your school. Now imagine this, a beautiful ex-porn star moves in next door, and she’s somehow into you. If that isn’t the ultimate (totally unrealistic) fantasy scenario for a dude in high school, I don’t know what is.

Image result for elisha cuthbert the girl next door

Elisha Cuthbert delivers the performance of a lifetime. It’s crazy to think she was only 21-years-old when the film released. A little over a weekend ago, I tweeted out that Danielle may be my favorite female role in movie history, and I stand by it. The Canadian actress quickly joined my list of crushes at the time time, which probably included a combination of Eva Mendes and Torrie Wilson. Heck, I went to see House of Wax just based on Cuthbert being cast in the film. It’s a shame she’s pretty much gotten blackballed by Hollywood since.

I’ve even changed my phone background to Cuthbert in The Girl Next Door to pay homage to Elisha and the 15th anniversary. There’s just certain scenes that will forever be imprinted on my brain, whether that’s her drawing in the diner or hitting Klitz and a stunned Eli with the signature, “I’m all wet, can I come in?” line.

One of the main reasons I was inspired to write this piece was because of the expectations the movie set for us when it came to more mature subjects we just didn’t know about yet. Just think about how much your senior prom paled in comparison to what they showed. They shot a sex-ed film for crying out loud! How about the fucking Tripod rolling up to the porn convention, where Eli and Klitz pose as directors and eventually get chased out by a meathead in dramatic fashion.

I’d wander to guess that this movie was the first time I’d been exposed to strip club culture as well. That was pretty funny when Matt sees a close family friend he’d never expect to be there, as you can never judge a book by its cover when it comes to your usual “strip club guy.”

Let’s give a shout-out to Kelly (Timothy Olyphant), who did a great job in the villain role. He actually scared the crap out of me watching back in the day, but he’s a lot funnier now, and deserves major credit for raising the stakes of the film. Kelly probably wouldn’t get away with some of the things his character did these days, like rolling up to Matt’s high school and pitching girl students to enter the adult entertainment industry.

Things also went downhill for Matt once he tried to bring Danielle to a local shitty motel on Eli’s recommendation. There’s one positive takeaway we learned growing up, stay away from the motel life with someone you genuinely care about.

Overall, the juice was worth the squeeze, as the best thing that could be said is they just don’t make comedy movies like this anymore. If you have some time Monday, hit up HBO or your go-to pirating website and take a stroll down memory lane by popping on one of my absolute favorites with The Girl Next Door. Moral Fiber, baby.

 

Justice For If Beale Street Could Talk (And Other Reactions To The Oscar Nominations)

“Better late than never but never late is better.” – Drake

The 2019 Oscar Nominations have been announced and I have some thoughts that happen to be a day or two late. Technically, I wrote about some of the big snubs in a piece for Hidden Remote a few minutes after the announcement, but I wanted to take some time to develop my thoughts before spewing them out in this blog. That may come off as an excuse and I’m here to tell you that it is (not) an excuse.

Here are my thoughts on snubs, surprises, and general reactions to the nominations.

Snubs: I’m really have no qualms about these nominees. If I had to mention possible replacements, it would be Emily Blunt for A Quiet Place and Claire Foy for First Man.

Surprises: Marina de Tavira is the name that jumps out. To put this into terms that the kids can understand, Roma flexed on the Academy. Roma was tied with The Favourite for the most nominations (10) this year. Roma was very slow in the beginning and if you turned it off, I feel bad because the last 30-40 minutes were extremely heartwarming and beautiful.

Reaction: Regina King should win.

Snubs: More snubs come to mind in the male supporting category as opposed to the female supporting category. Timothee Chalamet is the big name that will jump out since he’s been a staple at other awards show for his performance in Beautiful Boy. I will also listen to the case for Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther because Killmonger was the best aspect of that movie.

Surprises: Sam Elliot! It’s a happy surprise. I do not care if this is a case of the Academy rewarding a veteran for their service to the film community. Elliot was amazing in A Star Is Born and I’m so happy for him. Elliot is a dark-horse to win.

Reaction: The winner is up in the air, but I’ll side with the savior of True Detective, Mahershala Ali, to pick up his second win in this category in three years.

Snubs: She was not going to get nominated, but Elsie Fisher’s performance in Eighth Grade might be my favorite performance of the year. More on Eighth Grade later, but I’m very upset it received zero nominations.

Surprises: Yalitza Aparicio is not a trained actress. In fact, I’m pretty sure she was a preschool teacher before being cast in Roma. Once Marina de Tavira was nominated in supporting, you knew Yalitza’s nomination was on the way. This is a feel good story that should be celebrated.

Reaction: Strong, strong field. Glenn Close and Olivia Colman are the favorites (pun), but I’m still pulling for Lady Gaga.

Snubs: A lot of snubs. A loud majority on Twitter are upset that Ethan Hawke did not receive a nomination for First Reformed. John David Washington, the son of Denzel Washington, in BlacKkKlansman also comes to mind. I have not seen Willem Dafoe in At Eternity’s Gate and I’m sure it’s a solid performance, but I would’ve went with Hawke or Washington for that final spot.

Surprises: See above.

Reaction: If Bradley Cooper does not hoist a trophy in any category on Oscar night, I am going to be very upset. Christian Bale and Rami Malek are the favorites.

Snubs: Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk and Bradley Cooper (read below).

Surprises: I have not seen Cold War. I’ve heard good things, but Pawel Pawlikowski would not have been my fifth spot.

Reaction: Congratulations to Spike Lee. Unfortunately, this should’ve been his second nomination because the Academy decided to snub him for Do The Right Thing. However, I’m super disappointed that Cooper did not receive a Best Directing nominee. If you ask me about this category on the street, I will rant and scream and cry about how Bradley Cooper was snubbed in this category. Not to say the other directors did not work hard on their films, but Cooper poured his heart and soul into this A Star Is Born for over three years. Cooper taught himself to play guitar, piano, sing, speak an octave lower, direct, etc. It is a TRAVESTY that Cooper is not nominated for Best Director.

Throw out the format for this category. I know for a fact people that Best Picture is going to be VERY problematic this year if certain films win. Let’s start with the obvious film that stands out for the wrong reasons, which is Bohemian Rhapsody. When Bohemian Rhapsody first came out, it received mixed to negative reviews. Many viewers had problems with the script and the depiction of Mercury’s sexuality and health. The music is awesome (who doesn’t love Queen?) and Rami Malek shines, but other than that, it’s not something I would consider “Best Picture worthy.” I’m still shocked that it’s had such a successful awards season run (besides Malek because that was expected). I can think of A LOT of movies to replace Bohemian Rhapsody in this category. They include: If Beale Street Could TalkMission Impossible: FalloutEighth GradeA Quiet PlaceAvengers: Infinity War, Annihilation, Widows, etc. You get the idea. The box office success and the ability to move past it’s Bryan Singer problem are what’s carrying this film through awards season.

Roma is the favorite due to its lead in overall nominations. Right behind it would be Green Book, who despite its own problems involving its director and writer, is still picking up huge wins on the awards scene. Overall, I like a lot of these movies, but I wouldn’t say they blew me away as a whole. A Star Is Born, Eighth Grade, and If Beale Street Could Talk are the three best movies I saw in 2018. I’ll go more in-depth on predictions when the ceremony inches closer. For now, what was your reaction to the nominees? Hit me up on Twitter @danny_giro.

If Beale Street Could Talk Review: Barry Jenkins Can Do No Wrong

If you have ever owned a Sega Genesis or strolled into an arcade, one of the games that is guaranteed to be in the rotation is NBA Jam. It’s a 2-on-2 basketball game with NBA players that features highlight reel dunks that defy the laws of physics. In the classic video game, if a player makes three baskets in a row, he is considered “on fire.” The player has unlimited turbo, increased shooting percentage, and a somewhat invincibility factor. When a player is on fire, they are practically unstoppable.

Right now, Barry Jenkins is on fire thanks to his latest film, If Beale Street Could Talk. This film marks Jenkins’ first film since the award-winning, Moonlight, which won three Oscars including Best Picture Based on the 1974 novel by James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk film follows the relationship between Clementine “Tish” (KiKi Layne) and Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt (Stephan James) in 1970s Harlem. Tish and Fonny are determined to make it in the city despite the racial prejudice facing African Americans at the time. Fonny is pregnant and prepared to marry Fonny when tragedy strikes the duo. Fonny is falsely accused of raping a woman by a racist cop and thrown into prison as he awaits a trial. It’s up to Fonny, her mother Sharon (Regina King), and the rest of her family to prove Fonny’s innocence and remove him from prison before the baby is born.

One of Barry Jenkins’s best traits as a director (and there are A LOT) is his ability to capture emotion. Jenkins has a keen eye for facial expressions and his closeups leave the viewer in awe. Jenkins knows how to let moments breathe and understands that words do not need to be exchanged to express emotion. A closeup of a distressed actor’s face to show sadness and frustration is far more powerful to the viewer than dialogue. The cinematography and script are spectacular and that’s all because of Jenkins. It’s this attention to detail that pushes Jenkins near the top of greatest living directors.

The acting performances are heartfelt and emotional lead by the strong chemistry between Layne and James. However, the two performances I want to focus on are from Regina King and Bryan Tyree Henry. Both of these actors happen to have two of the most powerful scenes of the movies. King plays Tish’s mother, Sharon, a strong, loving mother who won’t stop until her daughter is reunited with the love of her life. King decides to make matters into her own hands by flying to Puerto Rico to find the woman who claimed that Fonny raped her. King is determined and hopeful that the woman will see her side and renounce Fonny as her rapist, but upon their meeting, that hope quickly dissolves into defeat. The heartbreaking scene is a showcase of King’s raw power and delivery, which will lead her to an Oscar win in February.

For what it’s worth, it’s hard to find an actor who had a better year than Brian Tyree Henry. Between Atlanta and Widows, that would’ve been a successful year, but If Beale Street Could Talk was the cherry on top. It baffles my mind that Henry has not received more award’s consideration for his performance. Henry plays Daniel, one of Fonny’s friends who was recently paroled. In the scene of the movie, Fonny and Daniel are drinking around the dinner table when they begin to discuss prison life. Daniel’s charm and bravado quickly dissolves to fear and abandonment as his face tells the horror of prison and how it can make a man feel inadequate.

Jenkins once again directed a beautiful and tragic love story that will leave you in tears. Not many directors are capable of channeling emotions and facial reactions as good as Jenkins. Jenkins love story to black America will undoubtedly go down as one of the best films of 2018.

9.0/10

Let me know what you thought on Twitter @danny_giro. 

I Spent My Weekend Watching Cheesy Christmas Movies On Netflix And I Loved It

How was your Thanksgiving Weekend? Did you act like a man and watch some football? Maybe you stuffed your face with turkey and mashed potatoes like you were Joey Chestnut? Perhaps you ran to your nearest outlet store to buy a Canada Goose jacket to show that you have money.

What did I do? I watched cheesy Christmas movies on Netflix and I loved it.

Every Sunday (if the Giants play at 1) at about 4:30 pm, I usually mute NFL RedZone in frustration over a Giants loss. I plop my ass on the couch, fire up my computer, and pick a movie. This week, I watched The Meg and it was everything I wanted and more. A giant shark, over-the-top deaths, and ridiculous action sequences. It was perfect. After The Meg, I perused Netflix for another movie and in the trending section, I saw A Christmas Prince.

Rose McIver and Ben Lamb in A Christmas Prince / Via Netflix

Here’s the official synopsis: “Christmas comes early for an aspiring young journalist when she’s sent abroad to get the scoop on a dashing prince who’s poised to be king.”

A cheesy movie about finding love in a foreign country with a prince? Sure, why not. If you remember, A Christmas Prince gained attention after Netflix revealed that 53 people watched the movie for 18 straight days.

It’s a bit excessive, but to each his own. Anyways, I enjoyed the movie. It was exactly what I wanted, which was a cheesy rom-com that made you feel good about relationships even though it’s an unrealistic plot that would never happen in real life. I’m not even putting it in the “so bad it’s good” category. I liked it and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Do I care what you think? Absolutely not.

So what did I do after I watched A Christmas Prince? I went back to trending and saw the movie, Christmas Inheritance.

Eliza Taylor in Christmas Inheritance / Via Netflix

Here’s the official synopsis: “Before ambitious heiress Ellen Langford can inherit her father’s business, she must deliver a special Christmas card to her dad’s former partner in Snow Falls. When a snowstorm strands her at the town inn, she discovers the true gift of Christmas.”

It’s your basic “rich girl gets cutoff from her dad and has to learn the value of working hard.” It’s a trope that’s been repeated so many times, but guess what? I also enjoyed Christmas Inheritance.

So in conclusion. I don’t care what anyone thinks. I watch Netflix Christmas rom-coms to feel good. I want to believe in love just as much as I want the Yankees to win the World Series. I like sports. I like movies. I can do both and love it. Guilty pleasures, folks. It’s how I get by. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m preparing for the sequel to A Christmas Prince titled A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding.

A Star Is Born: Can Bradley Cooper And Lady Gaga Both Win An Oscar?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, the entertainment world has been captivated by A Star Is Born. From Bradley Cooper’s direction to Lady Gaga’s first performance on the big screen, audiences can’t get enough of this tragic love story. The film has been in theaters since October 5th and has already grossed over $135 million worldwide. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Once Lady Gaga let out her famous “HAAAA AHHHHHH ahh ahh ahhhhhh” in the trailer, this movie was going to be a hit.

Here is my quick review of the film in one tweet.

The hype was real. Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut exceeded my expectations. His ability to craft a fresh take on a story that has previously been told three times was magnificent. Cooper’s dedication to the role and three year transformation to become Jackson Maine was insane. Cooper learned how to play guitar and piano as well as lower his voice down a whole octave to play the aging superstar. It also helps that Lady Gaga shined in her debut on the big screen. In simplest terms, Gaga was born to play this part.

With the movie in theaters, the topic of conversation shifts towards awards season. Can A Star Is Born win big at the Oscars? The film is a lock to receive multiple nominations. However, will Cooper and Gaga walk away with acting hardware come February? Here’s how they stack up against the field.

*All odds are taken from Goldderby.com. I’m going to focus on Best Actor and Best Actress. A Star Is Born will win for Best Original Song and will most likely receive nominations in Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture.*

BEST ACTOR

Can Cooper finally win an Oscar for acting? Cooper was previously nominated in the best acting category for Silver Linings Playbook and American Sniper as well as the best supporting category for American Hustle. Is the year he finally breaks through with the Academy? Right now, Cooper is the favorite on Goldderby with 9/2 odds. Second place is at 6/1. If A Star Is Born continues to explode at the box office, his campaign will only gain traction and stability with voters. Other contenders for the prize will be Viggo Mortensen (Green Book), Ryan Gosling (First Man), and Christian Bale (Vice). However, I believe the biggest disruptor to Cooper’s campaign could be Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody. No official reviews have been released, but if Malek puts on a tour de force performance as Freddie Mercury, voters will then have to choose between two musical performances for the top prize. This conflict may split the vote and someone like Mortensen or Bale might emerge when the dust settles. If I had to guess on October 15 as to who wins Best Actor, I’m choosing Bradley Cooper, but that could change in a few short months.

BEST ACTRESS

Lady Gaga is going to win Best Actress at the 2019 Oscars. Full disclosure, I have not seen all of Gaga’s competition yet because the films have yet to be released, but I can’t see anyone overtaking her lead. Right now, she’s a 39/10 favorite. The next closest odds are 9/2 so that’s not an insurmountable lead, but it’s solid for now. Her biggest competition will be Glenn Close (The Wife) and Olivia Colman (The Favourite). In my opinion, these roles are not as flashy in the public’s eye as Gaga’s. Gaga plays an up-and-coming singing sensation alongside Bradley Cooper. Close plays a wife attending the Nobel Prize ceremony with her husband and Colman plays Anne, Queen of Great Britain. Critics have lauded both Close and Colman for their scene-stealing performances. Plus, Close is a six-time nominee with zero wins. Is it time to reward Close with an Oscar to make up for lost times? Close deserves an Oscar, but it’s not going to be this year. Gaga’s star power and glamour alone will be on full display during the huge Oscar campaign the studio will build for her. Plus, let’s not forget about the heart of the matter, which is her magnificent performance. Between her strong chemistry with Cooper and her electrifying musical numbers, Gaga injected such life and vulnerability into a character that felt so personal and real. Gaga should start practicing her acceptance speeches now.

Do you think Cooper and Gaga will win Oscars?