Tag Archives: The Cubicle Escapee

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: Netflix’s THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED)

I am going to get two things right off my chest before I dive into Netflix’s THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED). First off, I don’t think Adam Sandler’s performance in this is Oscar worthy at all. It is a very good performance and easily his best since Punch Drunk Love, but I do not think it is Oscar worthy as many have been buzzing it is. Secondly, I am not a huge fan of Noah Baumbach. I think he is a talented filmmaker whose films are a little too quirky for my taste, and I haven’t really liked any of his films, maybe the closest being The Squid and the Whale. This film now beats that for me as his best work, even though I still cannot quite recommend the film. And it is mainly because of the second half of the film.

I don’t dislike Noah Baumbach at all. He does have a very good ear for dialogue and some of his scenes are engaging but he uses a lot of weird quirky moments and sight gags that take me out of the film and I have trouble that they would be in this universe that he has created. There are good sight gags and bad sight gags to be sure. And by sight gags, I’ll give you an example. While I love the movie Garden State, I can’t wait the part where Zach Braff is in that bathroom and walks near those sinks and the sinks just go off as we walks toward the exit.  That part made absolutely no sense, so I consider it a bad sight gag. Another sight gag is when he has on that shirt some Aunt made for him and it matches the wallpaper, that I considered a good sight gag. This film has a person running a car into a tree for absolutely no reason, people weirdly running away from things, weird student films, and a bunch of other sight gags that took me away from the family drama story it was trying to tell.

However, the sight gags didn’t ruin the movie for me, it was mainly the second act of the film when Ben Stiller shows up and Dustin Hoffman’s character goes out of the picture for a little bit. Before I get into the first and second act of the film Another thing I don’t necessarily like about Noah Baumbach’s filmmaking is that he never really gives us a totally likable character. Adam Sandler’s character in this is the closest he has gotten to date. Now I know you can’t a have perfect character without flaws, but surely there can be more likable characters with them. The first half of the film is clear and concise, and I thought I would come out of this putting it on one of my top fifteen films of the year, singing Baumbach’s praises. But then we get to the second half…

***spoiler alert*** I am going to spoil something that happens to Dustin Hoffman’s character where it made me not like the second act all the much and the event took a lot of the film away for me. So if you don’t want to know, turn back now. Halfway thru the film Dustin Hoffman’s character, one of the interesting ones, goes into a coma for the rest of the film. I think taking the father out of the picture and having the family drama dynamic happen between the two brothers and the sisters was a big mistake on Baumbach’s part. I think the father could’ve been in it and it would’ve made a more well rounded family story ***end spoiler alert*** The film is about a family whose father (Hoffman) is having a grand art exhibit of his work and selling it all off. Adam Sandler’s character and his sister have been struggling with their relationship their entire life with Hoffman’s character, and don’t want his new girlfriend/wife (played by Emma Thompson) to sell off the house and don’t want their father to sell his work. Enter the half brother (played by Ben Stiller) who is basically the person who is arranging all of this stuff to be sold. And Ben Stiller’s character is always the one that Dustin Hoffman’s was proud of, etc. etc. etc.

Like I said, the movie has a strong first half but a very weak second. I explained why it is weak in the spoiler above. But there is a little more too it. The story gets extremely cliched when the spoiler event happens, and so does the dialogue. This “you are the favorite child, you are turning into your father” merry go round has been done before and I was disappointed that the promising dialogue unique first half was followed up with this. It picks up near the very end with the art exhibit and ***spoiler alert*** Sandler’s final confrontation with Dustin Hoffman ***end spoiler*** but it was already too late for me to recommend the film completely. Noah Baumbach enthusiasts are for sure to love this movie though.

There are a couple of other sweet things, I did like Adam Sandler’s relationship with his daughter at the beginning of the film, but then she goes off to college, makes awkward movies and has a weird confrontation with Sandler at the end that really didn’t make much since. So see, this film was like a complete see-saw with me. There are good things and bad things. Sometimes I can still recommend a film with those, and sometimes I can’t. This is one of the rare cases where I just can’t. I’m sorry Noah Baumbach, you haven’t won me over yet, but you are showing promise. At least better than Paul Thomas Anderson….yikes. But not as good as Wes Anderson with the quirky stuff. I have a feeling he could get there though.

Sunrise Station by E.S.P & Giveaway

Sunrise Station
by E.S.P.
Genre: YA
Release Date: August 21st 2017
Mind andy Media

Summary from Goodreads:

Three books. Three women. One incredible ride.
1. Playmate: There’s a first time for everything, and Angel has experienced a lot of firsts. Her first time sneaking out the house. Her first time being kicked out the house. Her first time living on her own. When Angel cheats on her boyfriend with a friend of his, it might be the very first time Angel is completely out of control of her own life. Raw, raunchy, and fragile, Playmate is the story of what happens when you play with fire and fire plays back.
Disclaimer: contains strong language and mature content

2. The Sleeper: Ray has worked in the publishing industry for years. She’s worked on hundreds of manuscripts and knows each and every way a story could end. So when her coworker informs her about a serial killer terrorizing their state, Ray thinks its just another work of fiction. Until they find themselves trapped, abducted and lost in a story with a million twists and the most unpredictable ending of all.
Disclaimer: contains graphic content

3. Sunrise Station: Abigail isn’t unique, eccentric or interesting. She isn’t popular or well known by any means. And that’s okay. Jace is everything Abigail’s not, and that excites her. That captivates her. And when Abigail crosses the line between obsession and self control, she takes a high-school crush to a point she might not be able to turn back from. 

 

Available on Amazon
Excerpt
The clock on the wall reads 3:15. Perfect timing.And this is where it gets weird.

I pack up quickly and speed walk to my car, out of the parking lot by 3:17, and the radio comes crackling to life.

“Next on Sunshine Station, we have a caller by the name of Grace Whitney. Grace, what’s your favorite summer jam?”

By the time I’m back in the school lot, the baseball team is jogging out the side door to the track. I scan the line, searching for that bouncing head of curly hair.

Jace is at the end of the line. His face always looks serious at practice. His baseball pants fit him well, highlighting his muscular legs and round derriere. I only have eyes for him.

Sadly, this isn’t the weird part.

I wait until the team is completely out on the track to leave my car. Thankfully the track is behind the school and my car can’t be seen from that area. The lot is empty—exactly how I need it.

No one ever bothers to lock the side door, which makes it easy to access the boy’s locker room. The lights are off and it reeks of sweat. I pause and listen to the silence, making sure it’s completely empty.

Once it becomes clear that no one else is in here, I can feel a physical weight dispel off my body. I feel like my guts have been twisted all day, and now there is relief. I am calm. I am home.

I only turn on one of the lights. It’s like a runway strip to Jace’s locker. I can see his backpack, overstuffed and slumped on the floor. A pot of gold.

My hands shake as I unzip the top and pull out his blue varsity jacket. My senses become full with the smell of him. It feels amazingly warm on me, and comforting, like I’m wrapped up in his arms. This is what it would feel like if I were wrapped in his arms. I wish I never had to leave, wish I could be encased in his false embrace forever.

Jace is chronically unorganized. His binder bulges with loose leaf paper and graded tests

and random flyers. I thumb through it quickly. A 73 on his calc test—ouch. My baby is not good at math.

He has the pages folded down hard in The Catcher in the Rye. I hate how he doesn’t use bookmarks. He’s not even far in the book; Holden hasn’t even left Pencey yet. I would love to tutor him.

I love Jace’s handwriting. It’s not at all like you’d imagine it. It’s small and scrawled, like a hasty message on the wall of a bathroom. His handwriting is casual, but he’s larger than life.

The three forty-five alarm on my phone goes off. The football team will be arriving soon. It’s time to go.

My eyes well up as I pull off the jacket. The fantasy is over and I am back to not living. The lights are too bright. I feel cold.

About the Author
Being the daughter of an accomplished author, E.S.P. grew up listening to stories and telling her own to classmates. At fourteen years old she self-published her first novel, but feeling like a small fish in the literary pond she quickly removed it from all publishing avenues. After three years of inactivity, Eboni published her second novel, Soft Eyes and Troubled Minds: Literary Works for the Disturbed at Heart, coauthored with a close friend. At the conclusion of her senior year in high school, E.S.P. published her third novel, Sunrise Station, and has much more writing in store. When she’s not writing, she’s either reading books, talking about books, or watching god-awful movies.
Author Links:
  

 

 



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Star Wars Fever

I BOOKED MY TICKETS!!!!! Now I just have to wait two months and based on my current mindset, my bank account is in trouble.

I love the excitement that comes with Star Wars. The theories, the anticipation… the merchandise.

I mean how can you not get excited?

My contributor Zach is a huge Star Wars fan and believe me he is the one to bounce theories with, I am just the one that gets excited for a new movie as I only typically get excited over the Marvel Universe and Star Wars movies hence this post.  I am also the one that loves to buy stuff.

I love online shopping and I can’t help but notice ALL of the Star Wars stuff I want.   Seriously.  Obsessed. 

I know the marketing for the movie works because I see anything BB-8 and the nerd in me wants… granted I have no where to put it, but the new BB-8 bath rug at Target?  Yes please.

Oh look a Star Wars sweat shirt… I will take 2 cause I know my mom will want one right? Plus duh, it is fall in Texas.   I need a sweat shirt.

OH! A BB-8 stuffed animal.  Wait Jen, you bought that when the force awakens came out.  You don’t need another one.

Oh my a shower curtain, I totally need that, cause uh I shower right?

Thankfully, I only buy Star Wars stuff within a couple of  months of a major movie release.   My bank account is grateful, cause seriously there is a TON of Star Wars shit in the world and I often want it all.

Anyone else guilty?

This post is pretty pointless because well it doesn’t have a point except that I am excited about Star Wars and I have my eye on a damn BB8 bath rug, so if you are still reading this post thanks for sticking with me.   Also be honest, you want that damn BB-8 bath rug too.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: HAPPY DEATH DAY

HAPPY DEATH DAY is so damn enjoyable, I can completely forgive the movie for having me easily guess who the killer is months ago in the trailers. Yes, it is not that hard to figure out who the killer is and why. But this was a perfect little Friday the 13th treat and a cool, fun Halloween flick. Granted it is just another twist on the Groundhog Day formula, but honestly, I could watch movies with the Groundhog Day formula everyday. It’s a cool premise, living each day over and over until you get it right. You just want to yell at the screen with all the solutions the main character isn’t thinking of how they can escape repeating their day. This is the first one to use the slasher horror formula mixed to this one, and even with the PG-13 rating, the movie hit my dumb sweet spot.

If this movie was Rated R and maybe a tad longer (it is a nice brisk 96 minutes), I think this movie could’ve been a masterpiece, but instead it is just a really really enjoyable multiple watch film that won’t win any awards and will just be watched every Halloween by you personally. The movie especially wouldn’t have worked without newcomer Jessica Rothe. She is fantastic in this and her chemistry with everyone else is exhilaratingly fresh. So is the Andie McDowell to her in this movie played by Israel Broussard. He has some very good scenes with Rothe and even though he is in it a lot, I wish he was in it more.

But man does this PG-13 really prohibit this film from discovering its full potential. I wanted some cool blood splattering kills every time they kill our heroine, but there is not that much blood and there is mostly jump cuts. I did however jump a couple of times due to a few good well timed cheap jump scares. Speaking of heroine, usually when a character has a relive a day over and over again, that character is a despicable son of a bitch. But Jessica Rothe’s Tree Gelbman is honestly not that bad of a person, or at least we don’t see her being that much of a bitch. If they had, it might’ve made her arc more convincing. Thank the stars that Jessica Rothe is so dam likable that I forgave this really quickly.

I don’t want to give much away, but the movie is very enjoyable. Although very predictable, the journey and our lead makes up for everything else. It’s a little bit scary, a little bit freaky, pretty funny, and the time will just roll by. It’s a very sweet Halloween treat that I wouldn’t miss. If you do miss it, at least give it a rental shot when it eventually hits formats for your home. Oh, another thing, I thought the Universal logo for this was pretty clever before the movie started. I liked this so much, I’m sure I will watch it again, and again, and again, and again. Just make sure you turn your brain off at the door.