Author Archives: sidekickreviews

Community Links & News: What Have You’ve Been Watching Lately?

pixar inside out joy and sadness

Ahh yes, the incredible summer weather makes for a perfect day to … stay inside and watch a movie! ;) On the blogging front, summer is usually a slower time for me. This is where you come in. I’m on the look out for something new to get into. Is there a movie or television show that you’ve recently enjoyed or can’t stop thinking about? How is True Detective season 2 coming along? Do you have a favorite movie of the summer so far?

Here are some things I’ve been watching lately. Of these, I’d easily recommend the first two movies to just about anyone.

Inside-Out-Anger PosterInside Out:  I skipped over Pixar’s last few movies but with all the positive reviews on Inside Out I wanted to check it out in the theatres. Glad to say I really enjoyed it! Pixar did a great job of pulling off the concept. My favorite emotion is Joy (Amy Poehler). I started out not caring much for Sadness (Phyllis Smith) but I liked how the script taught us to value her. Which Pixar movies do you think are unskippable?

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10 Things I Like About “Say Anything”

Say Anything John Cusack Boombox

This post is part of MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur – High School/Teen Romance Movies. Don’t forget to check out all the great posts in this feature.

John Cusack holding a boombox outside his girlfriend’s bedroom window. It’s an iconic cinematic moment that, if you’re like me, are familiar with even if you haven’t watched 1989’s “Say Anything“. It’s been referenced and parodied so much, it’s about time I check out what the fuss is all about. Funny thing is watching that scene in context played out differently than what I expected. I’ll talk about that down below.

Say Anything reminds me a little bit of the more recent teen movie “The Spectacular Now“. The characters and their relationship feel instantly genuine. You see, Lloyd (John Cusack) doesn’t have big plans after high school. The only thing on his mind is getting a date with Diane (Ione Skye), the brainy girl who’s totally out of his league.

While Diane is the envy of other girls, her highly focused mind-set keeps her sheltered from many typical high school experiences.  We can see how Lloyd and Diane influence each other in ways that they would have never experienced if they never met. Their romance is not overly sappy and the humor comes across naturally. And also like The Spectacular Now, the father figure plays a role in this coming of age story.

Without further ado, here are 10 random things I like about Say Anything. A heads up, some of these will contain spoilers. You may want to watch Say Anything first before reading further.

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Orphan Black Season 3 Review: “Can Great Characters Save An Underwhelming Story?”

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Orphan Black Season 3 Review (Spoilers)

Season 3 of Orphan Black had this feeling that it could go off the rails at any given moment. In a season that introduced a number of new moving parts in an already complicated story, ultimately the writers landed on what has been the show’s continual source of strength.  The theme of a makeshift yet united family and the bonds of sestrahood is Orphan Black’s go-to cornerstone. The sestrahood, of course, being the characters played brilliantly by lead actress Tatiana Maslany. Because the sestras were very well established in its first season, even when their current arcs aren’t as satisfying, they firmly ground the show and it’s hard not to remain invested in the fate of these characters.

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Game Of Thrones Season 5 Finale: “Breaking Down The Big Shocking Deaths”

Game Of Thrones Season 5 Episode 10 Stannis Dies

Game Of Thrones Season 5 Episode 10: “Mother’s Mercy” Review (Spoilers)

It’s been said before that no one is safe on Game Of Thrones. Season 5 finale entitled “Mother’s Mercy” lived up to that adage. In what is arguably one of the most shocking deaths to date, we say farewell to another major character that’s been on the show from the very beginning.

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Question Of The Month: Who is the Best Game Of Thrones Character?

Game Of Thrones Ranking All The Characters

Oracle Of Film has a brand new Question Of The Month: Who is your favorite Game Of Thrones Character? Check out all the choices from many bloggers, some answers are hilarious. Don’t worry if you haven’t caught up with the show, these are spoiler free descriptions. My favorite characters are kind of obvious so I decided to go outside the box with my write up. Click on the above link to find out who I picked.

This is another great topic chosen by Oracle Of Film I thought it would be fun to come up with additional choices. These are characters that I don’t get the chance to talk about that much but are deserving of the spotlight.

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Game Of Thrones Season 5 Episode 9: “The Dance of Dragons” Review

Game Of Thrones Season 5 Episode 9

Game Of Thrones Season 5 Episode 9: “The Dance Of Dragons” Review (Spoilers)

Going by previous seasons, Game Of Thrones has conditioned viewers to expect the unexpected in its penultimate episode. High expectations can be bit of a double-edged sword. It adds to the intensity knowing a regular character could get killed off and in anticipating a season defining moment. On the other hand, setting the bar high could result in a let down if that game changing event doesn’t land as hoped. The good news is that on its own merits, “The Dance Of Dragons” is a solid episode. It just happens to be in the shadows of “Hardhome”, one of Game Of Thrones’ best episodes to date. A better way to think about these two episodes is that they’re not in competition with one another, rather it’s a great one – two punch to the final stretch of Season 5.

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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013) Movie Review

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This post is part of MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur – Sci-fi/Fantasy Animated Movies (non Disney/Pixar). For all the great reviews in this feature, head on over to the wonderful MovieRob.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)
Director: Isao Takahata
English Voice Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Darren Criss

Director Isao Takahata may not be as well known outside of Japan as his fellow Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki but he’s a masterful filmmaker in is his own right. Takahata’s first movie in 14 years is a wonderful animated fantasy drama that pulls on the heart strings.

The story is based on the oldest Japanese folklore The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. In the beginning, an old man sees a glowing bamboo shoot in a forest. Now the bamboo is not empty or barren. The bamboo blossoms like a lotus flower revealing a tiny baby princess inside. The old man takes the princess back to his home and together with his wife raise the baby as if she were their own.

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Game Of Thrones Season 5 Episode 8 “Hardhome” Review

game-of-thrones-5x08 hardhome jon snow and tormund

A common sentiment is this season hasn’t had that wow factor. That moment or event were all fans are raving about around the water cooler. Sure, there was a highlight scene with Tyrion and Jorah versus the stonemen in Valyria. While the consequences of that scene is still reverberating on a personal level as Jorah comes to terms with grayscale disease, it’s implications won’t ripple into other storylines.

Then there was Sansa’s wedding night which garnered lots of heated discussion but was divisive of the fan base rather than something everyone could get behind. This all changed in a big way in Hardhome. As good as all the other scenes are, the epic battle against the undead army stole the episode and ramps up this season’s momentum several notches.

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Game Of Thrones Season 5 Episode 7: The Biggest Game Changer of the Season?

Game Of Thrones 5x07-The-Gift-Myrcella BaratheonGame Of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 7 “The Gift”

Game Of Thrones doesn’t follow the structure of a typical season of television. However, in terms of the narrative arc, “The Gift” is still in the rising action phase as a number of storylines are building their way towards a climax (insert your Samwell Tarly joke here). The most notable series of events is the convergence of Tyrion and Dany’s storylines. We also saw Cersei’s smug grin get wiped off her face and discover things can actually get worse for Sansa. Speaking of Sam the Slayer, giving a shard of dragon glass to Jon appears to be setting up a battle with possibly a White Walker and their undead horde against the wildings in Hardhome.

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Game Of Thrones Season 5 Episode 6: Our Uncensored Reaction to Sansa’s Wedding Night

game of thrones season 5 episode 6 Sansa and Theon Wedding NightGame Of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 6 “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”

After last week’s highly focused episode, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” returns to a number of the other storylines. Arya in Bravos and Jamie in Dorne have been the two least developed storylines of the season and while both move forward this episode, only one them is hitting the mark. Without Jon’s storyline, arguably the season’s strongest, or a highlight moment like Drogon in Valyria, this episode feels like a bit of a mixed bag. Full spoilers ahead.

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