All posts by Josef Rodriguez

Hey, I'm Joey and I'm a (usually) film and pop culture blogger, but I'll write about pretty much anything.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hun-Oh, You Must Be Joking

When I first heard that Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was actually, like, a thing, I wasn’t as angered as I could have been because I heard that Adam McKay and Will Ferrell were producing. Awesome, a satire using classic fairytale characters as the protagonists, I’m in. Now, after seeing the trailer…I’m not sure.

The first thing that struck me as odd was the fact that the name Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, or Gary Sanchez Productions was nowhere near this thing, leading me to believe it’s a bit of a marketing ploy to get the asses in the seats. Something similar to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Second, despite Jeremy Renner’s participation in this film, this really does look like the worst thing ever put to film, and I’m not even joking. Every moment this went on was a moment I wanted to die. Seeing Famke Janssen shooting a giant machine gun as a vampire; cool in theory, not so much in practice.

According to the Wikipedia synopsis:

Catching up with Hansel (Renner) and Gretel (Arterton) 15 years after the traumatic incident involving a gingerbread house, the siblings have evolved into vengeful bounty hunters dedicated to exterminating witches. Over the years, the siblings became expert hunters, famous for their proficiency at tracking and taking down their prey. Although still recovering from their ordeal, their work is relatively easy as for an unknown reason harmful spells and curses do not work well against them.

The Mayor of Augsburg recruits them to rid the town and nearby forests of an evil sorceress (Janssen) who is planning to sacrifice many local children at the witches’ gathering during the upcoming ‘Blood Moon’ night in two days time. To make things worse, the duo also has to deal with the brutal Sheriff Berringer (Stormare) who has taken power in Augsburg and conducts a very indiscriminate witch-hunt of his own.

Well..that just sounds awful, now doesn’t it?

Seriously, though, my advice? Watch a good movie. Any other good movie will do.

Check out the trailer below, I guess…

Grizzly Dailies: Party Down, Ryan Gosling and MORE!!

Party Down Movie Has Financial Backing and a Gung-Ho Cast

Party Down is one of my favorite shows ever and it’s agreed that it was most definitely cancelled prematurely. The brilliant writing, excellent cast, and consistently witty humor was no match for the usual garbage that makes its way to TV which is probably part of the reason why it was cancelled; not enough people “got it”. But that’s okay, because the ones who did are demanding more and it seems like now they’re finally going to get it.

Continue reading Grizzly Dailies: Party Down, Ryan Gosling and MORE!!

Breaking Bad: 508 “Gliding Over All” Review

Well, folks, it’s all led up to this. For eight weeks, our heart rates have been unfairly raised and our expectations shockingly shattered. It’s been quite the ride, and it’s not even over yet, but this 6 month break will probably be the cause for a strange decrease in my blood pressure. Fresh from the murder of Mike, Walter and Todd are getting ready to burn his body and discard of all his things when Jesse, who is still not aware of the murder, walks in.

They quickly hide the body and him and Walter speak briefly about what to do regarding the nine men in prison who are now willing to rat them out. Walt says he’ll deal with it and that Jesse’s vote is no longer valid. Walt then meets with Lydia to get the names of the nine men in prison. After doing so AND making a deal with her regarding international distribution, Walt utilizes Todd’s uncle and his prison connections to take out the nine different men in three different prisons in only two minutes. In what is possibly the most hilarious murder montage ever showcased on Breaking Bad (yes, there is more than one), each man is brutally knifed down by multiple men to the tune of a classic jazz standard. It’s brilliant.

Meanwhile, Skyler and Marie talk about how the kids continue to stay with her and Hank. Skyler obviously wants her kids back, and to prove her point, she shows Walt the money they’ve made since they started their business up. A number is never specified, but it looks to be about $20 million dollars. Walt obviously does some serious thinking and makes some decisions he never thought he had to make. Giving Jesse the $5 million he was promised, Walt promises Skyler that he’s out of the business completely.

*SPOILERS*

But, of course, nothing is ever as it seems. In the final scene, which is almost dreamlike in its construction, the entire White/Schrader family is together, but after Hank decides to take a quick dump in the bathroom, he finds a book signed W.W. In a flashback, we see a scene from Season 3 that recounts him and Walter doing a search for Heisenberg. He finds something signed W.W. and says, “Walter White,” to which he replies, “You got me.” Well, now, he’s really got him.

This final episode of the half season is one of my favorites, if not my favorite, so far. While there isn’t a whole lot of Jesse or Saul and no Mike whatsoever, Walt’s attempt to keep everything under control makes for riveting television, and Jesse Plemons’ addition to the cast is one that I was skeptical about at first but now welcome with open arms. The directing, writing, lighting, and acting were all spot-on and top-notch. The final scene, though partially expected, was still a surprise and has me wishing I could fast forward my life to next Summer for the 2nd 1/2 premiere. Five seasons in and I’m as hooked as ever.

5/5 Bears

Breaking Bad: 507 “Say My Name” Review

With only one episode left after this in this first half of the season, it’s reasonable to think that some proverbial shit would hit the fan. In the episode’s opening scene, Mike, Walt, and Jesse make their way to the desert to meet with the crew Mike had been negotiating with about the Methylamine. Walt promised Mike his $5 million dollars, and after some intense negotiating with the crew, he was able to give it to him.

But instead of just giving them the methylamine, he offered his cooking services. They reluctantly agree, but only because the money is too good to resist. Walt and Jesse (who is still set on leaving the business), make one final run to transport the Methylamine from the car wash to the new lab that they’re building. Meanwhile, Mike is working with a non-Saul Goodman lawyer to get money to the nine men who worked for Gus Fring, as well as Haylee, Mike’s granddaughter. Mike then listens in on a conversation with the DEA and abandons his laptop and his dirty guns before they have a chance to search his house.

With a warrant, the DEA does what they said they would but, of course, find nothing. Walt and Jesse talk about doubling down, but Jesse remains firm about getting out. This is when Walt switches into Heisenberg mode and tries to manipulate him into staying. Jesse, who seems to impervious to that kind of thing by now, stands firm and then walks out when Walt refuses to give him his money. Walt enlists the help of Todd who, as of now, is the only person to stick with him.

This decidedly unspectacular episode of “Breaking Bad” exists not to move the plot forward in a significant way, but to serve as a build-up for a final scene that, while I knew it was coming, still surprised me when it actually happened. The thing that really shines in the episode is the lighting. While the camerawork itself isn’t Vince Gilligan/Rian Johnson good, the way the light is manipulated makes for some fantastic still shots and layered visual metaphor.

Say My Name also marks the first time Jesse and Walt have had any real conflict since the pilot episode, and to be honest it was a little disappointing. Their teamwork is what made this season so great and seeing them truly break their partnership was a shock in many ways. The biggest shock of all, though, came in the last five minutes.

*SPOILERS*

Vince Gilligan promised that episodes 5 & 7 would be the most shocking in the season’s first half and while episode 5 was definitely a shock, I’m still unsure how I feel about the twist at the end. After promising Mike that he’d get him his “go bag”, which is a bag filled with money, his passport, and a holstered gun, and then bringing the bag to him, Walt demands the names of the men Mike’s been paying off. When Mike refuses to give them up, Walt shoots him with the gun that was in the bag. Mike attempts to speed away in his car, but quickly crashes into a rock. Running down a nearby hill, Walt finds Mike sitting on a rock with a fatal gunshot wound in his stomach.

Walt realizes that he could have just gotten the names from Lydia and he apologizes to Mike, who replies with, “Shut the f*** up, Walter, and let me die in peace.” A few seconds pass and Mike falls to the ground, dead. Now, the entire Breaking Bad fandom predicted his death, but I’m still not sure that I agree with it. Of course, no one gets out clean here, but if Gilligan and Co. are willing to kill Mike, a fan favorite, how far can we expect things to go? Some fans are predicting the death of Holly White, while others are predicting a Scarface-style shootout at the end of the series.

I’m definitely not condemning the bravery of the writers, but I guess I’m just disappointed that my favorite character had to go. In a narrative sense, this may be Breaking Bad‘s most accomplished episode of the season. From a personal standpoint, I am, in some strange way, mourning the death of a character that I’ve grown so accustomed to over the past year.

3.5/5 Bears