What to watch TV: True Detective

For an actor I once dismissed because of ridiculous cookie-cutter rom-coms, Matthew McConaughey’s recent string of outstanding performances have not only turned me into a fan, but I’ll tune in to almost anything in which he is cast.  And since I’m currently obsessed with crime dramas, well, his new mini-series is now pre-recorded on my PVR. 

Two of my favourite actors, McConaughey and Woody Harrelson star in a new 8 part HBO miniseries True Detective about a 17 year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana.

Has to be magic.

Grantland posted an early, rather critical, in-depth, review of the series and while I hope to disagree with Andy Greenwald’s opinion, though I’m sure I’ll relate to it, I was thankful to see the series’ two stars are worth watching:

“And it’s thrilling to see movie stars like McConaughey and Harrelson crackling in nearly every scene. They’re not slumming in TV, they’re soaring. Both are at the top of their game, though McConaughey in particular seems to be playing a different sport altogether: His True Detective turn comes smack in the middle of one of the more remarkable career resurrections in recent memory, immediately after a role that should get him an Oscar nomination (as unlikely activist Ron Woodroof in the excellent Dallas Buyers Club) and just before one that will likely break records at the box office (as the handpicked lead ofInterstellar, Christopher Nolan’s first movie after parking the Batmobile). Of course, Harrelson is no slouch, either: Between acts of grand theft cinema in smaller flicks likeSeven Psychopaths, he has kept busy collecting paychecks and a new generation of fans in the money-printing Hunger Games franchise. The two could have been anywhere else on earth during the long months it took to film True Detective, but they chose to be here, slipping in bayou mud and dodging crawfish shells. That desire is palpable in their performances.”

Creator: Nic Pizzolatto
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson and Michelle Monaghan.

Air date: Sunday, January 12th, 2014.


Trailers I Like: Whitewash (2013)

Eerie, frightening, poetic, strange, poignant, thrilling and a well-crafted study of character.  

Directed by: Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais
Written by: Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais, Marc Tulin
Starring: Thomas Haden Church,  Anie Pascale, Marc Labreche, Sylvio Archambault, Vincent Hoss-Desmarais

An early review by Slant: Whitewash

Release date: 19 April 2013

Trailers I’m Obsessed With: The Grand Budapest Hotel

From my favourite storyteller.

I was so caught up watching the trailer, admiring the poster and reading everything I could get my hands on about Wes Anderson’s new film that I forgot to post the trailer here.

If I was a cartoon you would see hearts in my eyes.

Directed by: Wes Anderson
Written by: Wes Anderson
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Jason Schwartzman, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, Léa Seydoux, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum and many, many more.

Release Date: March 7th, 2014

Get ready: Oldboy (2013)


Back in January, I expressed my utter disappointment that Hollywood was remaking the South Korean Classic, Oldboy.  There is no way Hollywood could do justice to this art- house oeuvre…unless they found an incredible director…one who might be a little heavy handed with his politics but still creates imaginative films that sit on the periphery of Hollywood mainstream…someone who is internationally well-liked so as not to offend any Oldboy purists…someone like Spike Lee?  That’s right.  Spike Lee directs this horrific tale about a man desperate to understand why he was inexplicably imprisoned for 15 years.  The cast is pretty decent and the trailer is enough to make us understand that it’s different but the same.

Directed by: Spike Lee
Adapted by: Mark Protosevich whose credits at least include The Cell.
Starring: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Hannah Simone, James Ransone and Sharlto Copley.

Release date: November 27th, 2013 (USA)

The trailer is barely watchable.  First time I’ve ever seen the red screen.

It’s going on my watchlist.

Trailers I Like: Bad Grandpa

This was the funniest part of my evening at the movies, including the movie which was We’re the Millers.

Directed by: Jeff Tremaine
Written by: Spike Jonze, Johnny Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine
Starring: Johnny Knoxville (as an 86 year old grandfather), Jackson Nicoll and poor, innocent Americans.

A Jackass movie that preys on people’s moral and ethical standards for a laugh, a welcome change from self-mutilation and violence. The trailer had me in stitches.

Release date:  October 25, 2013.

Trailers I like: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Feels like magic.

Directed by: Ben Stiller
Written by: Steve Conrad, based on the short story by James Thurber
Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Sean Penn, Kathryn Hahn and Shirley MacLaine

I haven’t been a Ben Stiller fan for quite some time, at least not in anything other than a cameo here and there.  This, however, is the kind of movie I love.  Rooted in reality, the movie unfolds like a dream-scape highlighted by wonderful disparate images of embodied imagination.  Really, who doesn’t fantasize about Sean Penn calling to you?  Fingers crossed it’s as heartfelt as the Of Monsters and Men song that scores the trailer.

Release Date:  Christmas Day

Trailers I Like: Her (2013)

Poetic and heartbreaking.

Directed by: Spike Jonze
Written by: Spike Jonze
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlet Johansson and Rooney Mara

It’s been four years since Spike Jonze’s last feature, Where the Wild Things Are.  I’ve been counting.    Joaquin Phoenix seems perfectly cast in this sci-fi romance.  And did I mention that Arcade Fire did the score?  Must see.

Release date: November 20th, 2013

Trailers I Like: American Hustle

Yes, that’s Christian Bale with a comb-over.  May this man never stop acting.


Directed by: David O. Russell
Written by: Eric Singer and David O. Russell
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Robert De Niro, Michael Peña and Louis C.K.

Aside from reuniting the cast of Silver Linings Playbook, this is on my watch list.  It seems more tailored to David O. Russell’s style than his last. I’m also looking forward to seeing Amy Adams shed her good-girl image for a change.  Fingers crossed!

Release date: Christmas Day