Watch List: Tombstone, a love note to nostalgia and Doc Holliday

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*As always, a few spoilers below* I was raised on good stories. Whether stories in the forms of novels or movies, stories are what made up my childhood. My mother use to make up fairy tales on the spot every night before I went to bed, with me as the main character overcoming all obstacles. My uncle and I always use to run his Star Wars dvds on tv and we’d sit and marathon the original trilogy for hours on end with buckets of popcorn. (sidenote: Star Wars will always and forever remain my favorite fictional world of all time)

However, it’s Tombstone that holds a wonderful place in my heart. My father and I have a pretty solid relationship. He’s a pretty cool dude and he has even cooler film taste. The guy loves westerns. I think I’ve seen every single classic western movie. That’s how my father and I bonded, he would ramble about his favorite movies and we’d sit and watch them with a side of pizza. Westerns (and Star Wars) became the epitome of my childhood. But there was one western that ruled them all, and that Western was Tombstone.

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For me, there is absolutely no film that conquers Tombstone. This movie has everything, drama, heart-stopping action, romance, comedy, and a whole lot of heart.

My favorite part about Tombstone is the love story. Tombstone has the best love story of all time. No, not the love story between Josephine and Wyatt Earp (though that loveline is wonderful), I’m talking about the familial love between the Earp brothers and the infamous Doc Holliday. These four have such a soul-deep bond that they’d put their lives down for each other. You just don’t mess with them. They’re badass, and when you mess with one of them, you’re messing with all of them. Which leads me to my favorite character in Tombstone, and perhaps of all time, Doc Holliday.

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Val Kilmer was Doc Holliday. Kilmer bought Holliday to living, breathing life. I have never been as enraptured in a character as I was with Doc Holliday. His vulnerability tore at me, his baddass nonchalant, don’t give a damn attitude had me laughing in delight, yet it was his protectiveness, his fierce loyalty to his few friends that made him a childhood hero of mine.

Holliday was a binge drinking gambler who constantly hustled people out of their money and laughed in their faces about it. He just had nothing to lose…until he reunites with his good friends, the Earp Brothers. Holliday is constantly sweating and throughout the film, he grows paler and paler. We later find out Holliday is slowly dying from Tuberculosis. Which makes him even more dangerous. A man dying has nothing to fear.

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When a group of cowboys start threatening his friends, Doc Holliday steps in and induces fear in all of them. Everyone knows Doc Holliday is the best gunman in the country. He’s quick, with no remorse. The Earp Brothers were incredibly lucky to have Holliday on their side. Not just for his gun-toting abilities and infamous reputation, but because of his devotion to those he actually cares for.

In an incredibly intense scene, Holliday is coughing uncontrollably after a showdown between him and some outlaw cowboys. He’s been on a “reckoning” ride with Wyatt Earp, they’ve been hunting down and killing the cowboys that killed Morgan Earp. Holliday is visibly getting worse every second which prompts someone to ask him why he’s putting himself through all of this when he doesn’t have to.

Jack: “Doc, you oughta be in bed, what the hell you doin this for anyway?”

Holliday: “Wyatt Earp is my friend.”

Jack: “Hell, I got lots of friends.”

Holliday: “I don’t.”

This scene speaks volumes. Holliday is a con man. He’s killed countless of people. He’s either feared or looked down upon, sometimes both. But Wyatt Earp has treated him with nothing but respect and befriended him. Holliday doesn’t have many friends, but the ones he does have, you best believe he’s going to hold it down for them. If that means standing with his friends in gun fights, such as the notorious O.K. Corral fight, then he damn well will be there next to his friends ready to take you on.

In fact, throughout the whole movie nothing seems to phase Holliday. When someone threatens him, he laughs in their face. When someone threatens his friends, he palms his gun, ready to defend. Heck, one time a gun goes off making the Earp brothers, and me, jump in surprise yet Holliday doesn’t even flinch. The dude is just a badass. However, there is one, and only one time, you see Holliday awash with fear and worry. And it’s the scene where his friend Wyatt Earp goes crazy with grief over losing his brother and risks his life. Holliday’s fear, worry, and concern for his friend really hits you where it hurts.

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Doc Holliday is my favorite character ever written. I will never get over Val Kilmer’s incredible performance.

My dad’s an old school man. He’s taught me a lot of  lessons. Always hold your head up. Look people in the eye when you speak to them. Always say please and thank you. Have a firm handshake. Treat people with respect. Be a loyal person to those you love and care for. Be a kind and good friend. And Tombstone was one of his greatest lessons that he ever showed me. This is a film about friendship and family. Standing with them and defending them. Staying true to who you are and to those who love you.

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If you haven’t seem Tombstone, you should get on it. Tombstone is handsdown my favorite film. You’ll laugh, you might shed a tear or two, and you sure as heck will value your friends that much more.

“I’m your huckleberry.”

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Watch List: Mr. Roosevelt (movie review)

 

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Mr. Roosevelt, a love letter to the lost soul

           Mr. Roosevelt, the debut film from SNL alum Noel Wells and winner of the SXSW Narrative Spotlight award, shines a light on those wandering in the dark alone and lost. The Austin based film follows Emily Martin as she trudges through hardships in order to find her place in a world that seems to be against her at every turn.

After receiving a phone call from her ex-boyfriend that their cat (Mr. Roosevelt) has died, Emily finds herself leaving L.A., and her numerous failed Hollywood auditions behind, as she travels back home to Austin, Texas where she ends up staying with her ex-boyfriend and his seemingly perfect new girlfriend in their home.

The film’s opening scene did an excellent job of setting up the film as a love letter to those wandering with an uncertain destination. In the first scene, Emily is at an audition. For most of her audition she tells the interviewers of how being an outcast in school led her to the path of an aspiring comedian. Unfortunately for Emily, since she spent most of her audition talking about finding her way to comedy, she only has little time left to show off her comedic skills thus Emily fails the audition. This pattern continues throughout the film with Emily making flawed choices which leads her to rambling on about how and why she got to certain points in her life.

Noel Wells wrote and directed an incredible film that enraptured audiences with not a dry eye in sight. Some scenes of the film elicited intense laughter with tears as a result while some scenes were unbearably painful as Emily had to face the decisions she made, such as the emotional realization that moving to L.A. and leaving her beloved cat and boyfriend behind might have been the worse decision she ever made.

Emily Martin may just be one of the most relatable characters that graced the movie screens during SXSW this spring break. Her story was real and honest. Not only did Mr. Roosevelt feature an excellent protagonist, but Noel Wells created an incredible ensemble of characters that demolished stereotypes, which the audience discovers along with Emily. During the beginning of the film Emily is stuck in her own world, viewing others as either evil plot devices sent to make her life miserable (her ex’s new girlfriend) or as love interests sent to tear her heart apart. Yet, after a series of self-destructive choices, Emily finally opens her eyes and sees that she is not the only one lost. Everyone has tiny cracks on their heart. Everyone struggles, fails, and wanders from paths they once thought would always be the only path for them. After the realization that she is not the only one wandering towards uncertainty, Emily is able to free herself from the constrictive ropes of fear and let go of any remnants of self-doubt.

Mr. Roosevelt is a must see film, especially for those who may be feeling a little misplaced in the world.

**I’m not sure if this film will release in theaters or if it will be available on streaming sites, however I hope it gets a theatrical release. This film absolutely deserves to be seen by the masses.

 

Watch List: Free Fire (movie review)

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WOOOOOO I loved this! Love love love loved this! *heart eyes*

During a Q&A, Director Ben Wheatley said something along the lines of having a huge action movie in mind with thrilling car chases except that when the main characters got together at the  beginning of the story he originally had in mind to exchange guns, the characters fucked it up and thus Free Fire was born. I love this films birth story.

The entirety of Free Fire takes place in a warehouse, set in Boston 1978, after a gun deal goes wrong. The movie captures as each person in the warehouse struggles to survive flying bullets, explosions, and nasty insults.

The main thing I loved about Free Fire? It’s freaking hilarious! I have never laughed so hard during a gritty action movie. From the witty insults hurled at each other to the wry sense of humor they muster up to make sense of the grim situation they currently find themselves in is insanely funny. And the audience in the cinema agreed with me, I’ve never heard hundreds of people laugh as hard all at once during a film.

Although, despite the tongue in cheek hilarity, I will say, for those who don’t like violent movies this may be a bit much for you. Seriously, the bullets fly and hit their target. Sometimes multiple times. The violence in this gets pretty brutal. Yet, for someone like me who usually doesn’t like overly violent movies, I loved this film. The point was the violence. Put a gun in egotistical and insecure hands, you’re gonna get violence.

I can’t end this review without mentioning Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. While the two share similar themes (the botched schemes, ensemble cast, who did what, and the violence) these two films are very different. If you loved Reservoir Dogs, I honestly think you will love this as well.

Free Fire releases April 21, 2017

Watch List: Atomic Blonde (movie review)

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Short review: I liked this. I loved it at first, but then I sat on it for a bit and realized that I didn’t love it quite as much as I originally thought.

Why?

Well okay let’s start at the beginning. So Atomic Blonde is set in an alternate universe where the Berlin Wall is still in place. It’s a depressing place to be near the wall and our titular character,  Lorraine Broughton (played by Charlize Theron) is unfortunately sent there in order to find a traitor in her spy shere. At least…I think that’s what’s happening. See that’s the problem I had with this film, it confused the hell out of me. I wasn’t sure who was who and what was really going on. The end answered the main question, who is the traitor, but even the twist ending left me will a billion more questions.

However, despite my confusion and frustration with the ending, I was still able to enjoy this film. Atomic Blonde was beautifully shot. I mean, this action packed movie is seriously so beautiful to look at. The colors are gorgeous and I love the graphic novel feel. This movie is a comic book come to life, which I absolutely loved.

The best thing about this film? THE ACTION SCENES. Oh my goodness these action scenes were amazingly shot. The camera work enhanced the violence that was taking place making audience members sit at the edge of their seats hoping our Atomic Blonde would pull through and kick ass. Seriously, the audience clapped and hollered every time Lorraine managed to get up after an exhausting fight in order to fight another villain. These action scenes are some of the most beautiful and well shot I’ve seen in a long time. And for those who are squeamish and not fans of graphic violent scenes (me)  trust me, these action scenes are easy to take it. It’s so well shot, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen.

So despite my confusion and questions I have left unanswered, this movie is a great watch. It’s beautifully filmed and Charlize Theron kicks some major ass. This summer, buckle in and get ready for a wild ride.

Atomic Blonde releases July 28, 2017.

Musical Escape: Love Triangle by RaeLynn

Some mamas and daddies
Are loving in a straight line
Take forever to hearten
And take a long sweet ride
But some mamas and daddies
Let their heart strings tear and tangle, oh

And some mamas and daddies
Ran outta love in ’94
And some mamas and daddies
Don’t even talk no more
And some mamas and daddies
Let their heart strings tear and tangle

And some of us get stuck
And some of us grow up
In a love triangle

Musical Escape: Night Bus by Gabrielle Aplin

I’m on the night bus
I’m thinking about us
The streetlights go fleeting by
The man sat next to me
Is texting somebody
I wonder what that feels like
Maybe I’m reckless
But I just can’t shake this
It follows me home at night, at night
It’s getting clearer every mile we ride

Suddenly I know
That I’m on my way home
To you for the last time
It’s not what you wanted
But I know you got this
And you’re gonna be fine
Oh, I’ve just been watching
The world as it’s turning
And that’s what it feels like
Suddenly I know
That I’m on my way home
To you for the last time

Watch List: Trailers

Here are some films I’m looking forward to seeing!

Song to Song :Directed by Terrence Malik

The Beguiled: Directed by Sofia Coppola

Brain on Fire: Directed by Gerard Barrett (based off the memoir by Susannah Cahalan)

Stranger Things: Directed by the Duffer Brothers

Okay that last one isn’t a movie trailer but who else is excited for season 2 of stranger things?!?! I can’t wait.

Also side note about Brain on Fire, it deals with mental health issues and the stigma behind mental health, the book is a great read if you haven’t yet read it. I highly recommend it.