In My Mailbox (IMM) #2

It’s been a looooooong couple of weeks for me filled with a never ending sickness. I seriously slept more than 70 hours one week. As someone who doesn’t sleep much, or particularly enjoy a long sleep, it has been disturbing.

Luckily I received some goodies in the mail to cheer me up!

First, the brand new P.O.S. album titled We Don’t Even Live Here.

P.O.S. is one of my favorite rappers and part of my favorite rap/hip-hop collective, Doomtree. I highly recommend all of these extremely talented artists.

Originally P.O.S. had been scheduled for a national tour, but because of health issues he’s had to cancel. You can learn more about the situation and how to help over on Doomtree’s website.

Even though you might not be able to see him in concert soon, you can still enjoy the video for “Get Down” (NSFW with all the cursing, but you should probably blast it when you get home).

My second package was a result of Neil Gaiman’s All Hallow’s Read. Back in 2010, Gaiman proposed that each person give/lend/share a scary book on Halloween. This book could go to a friend, family member, or stranger. It doesn’t matter! As long as you share.

I happened to be the winner of an All Hallow’s Read giveaway. The Girl Who Loved Zombies sent me I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. I enjoyed the film, so I have high hopes for the novel. The rumors (they’ll stay that way until I read the book) that they are massively different just makes it all the more exciting.

What did you get this week? Have you also fallen victim to illness as the temperatures slip toward winter?

Movie Review: Detention

Detention

Title:  Detention
Rated:  R
Genres:  Comedy, Horror, Sci-fi
Director:  Joseph Kahn
Writers:  Joseph Kahn, Mark Palermo
Stars:  Josh Hutcherson, Shanley Caswell, Spencer Locke, Dane Cook
Rating:  4 Stars

Synopsis from Redbox:

17-year-old Riley Jones must survive her final year of high school. The problem is that she has been sentenced to detention on the night of her prom, her friends are apparently being murdered by the fictional villain of a horror film series, and worst of all, the boy with whom she’s in love is infatuated with her biggest rival. It becomes a race against time to save the world as she knows it.

My Thoughts:

Based on this description, I was expecting a B-horror movie. Detention turned out to be so much better than that expectation.

Detention is a meta-tribute to teen comedy and horror films, as well as the 90s. There are clear references to The Breakfast Club, Scream, The Fly, Freaky Friday and so many more. I love when films (or any media) lovingly, and jokingly, reference other things. It gives the film another layer, and a game I can play during a second (or third, or fourth) viewing.

Detention texting

Not only does Detention make tribute to previous films, it also captures the quick, ADHD nature of today’s youth. Characters spew rapid-fire references and quips as the story careens at texting speeds. While I enjoyed this for the most part, sometimes things moved a little too fast to catch everything.

Overall I found Detention to be hilarious and not scary at all. I will definitely be purchasing this film and watching it several more times. However, I find it difficult to recommend to a general audience. Detention is destined to become a cult film. I know many people will tire of the references. Others will despise the overall attitude and ridiculousness. And some people are looking for another Josh Hutcherson movie—which is much different from his previous work. If you enjoy comedy-horror benders, or cult films, I give a tentative recommendation.

What were your thoughts on Detention? What do you think of cross-genre films? Let me know in the comments below.

Movie Review: Hick

Hick

Title:  Hick
Rated:  R
Director:  Derick Martini
Writer:  Andrea Portes
Stars:  Chloe Grace Moretz, Blake Lively, Eddie Readmayne
Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis:  Tired of life with her drunken parents, 13-year old Luli (Chloe Grace Moretz) starts a hitchhiking adventure from small town Nebraska to Las Vegas. Along her way she meets Eddie (Eddie Readmayne), a former rodeo cowboy with dangerous charm, and Glenda (Blake Lively), a coke snorting grifter with lots of advice. But the road to Vegas isn’t as glamorous as her TV led her to think. Luli finds herself in one bad situation after another on the road in this coming-of-age story.

My Thoughts:  The driving force of this film is the phenomenal acting. The whole reason I picked this up is because I love Chloe Grace Moretz on screen. She hasn’t done anything I haven’t liked, that I’ve seen at the time of writing this anyway. Blake Lively, who I’ve been pretty lukewarm up to this point, surprised me with this role and her portrayal. Then there’s Eddie Readmayne. He’s British! Not once during the film did he sound anything other than a Texan (or other southwestern state). Usually I can pick up on ‘false’ accents, but not this time. Other great appearances include:  Juliette Lewis, Rory Culkin, Alec Baldwin, Anson Mount, and Ray McKinnon.

Chloe and Blake escaping a robbery gone wrong

Chloe and Blake escaping a robbery gone wrong

As for the plot, it’s meanders a bit. I like a story that doesn’t feel forced, so this worked for me. Luli wasn’t completely sure how she was going to get to Las Vegas, and her voyage reflected that. It’s also a story that doesn’t have a clear moral or message. Portes and Martini let the viewer take what they get out of the story. I really like this format, but I know it’s not for everybody.

While I really liked the film, there were a couple of holes. First, she has a loaded gun with her. Yet she never brandishes it, even though there are plenty situations that would warrant it. Second, she has a wad of cash. After the first or second rough situation, why wouldn’t Luli just buy a bus ticket? This is a character who had enough forethought to create a pros and cons list of going to Las Vegas, where the cons column had “might die.” She knew the possibility, and I’m not sure if her need for love would overtake her survival instinct honed by years of self-raising.

Hick Pros and Cons List

But if she dies in Las Vegas, maybe she’ll end up on CSI? Insta-fame!

Overall, I highly enjoyed watching this film. I can easily see myself re-watching in the future. This is a film not quite like anything else I’ve ever seen. If you like indie films or what you’ve read here, I recommend checking it out. If you’re unsure, Redbox has it! And don’t forget to check out the novel it’s based on, also titled Hick and written by Andrea Portes

Have you seen Hick? What were your thoughts? Do you share my love of Chloe Grace Moretz films? Tell me in the comments below!

Misfits Distraction and Ye Olde Ren Faire

Misfits

Orignaux Moose

I had originally planned to write about my trip to the Renaissance Festival earlier this week, but something wonderfully distracting came along:  Misfits. Misfits is a British television series that has been around since 2009. I’m late to the party on this one, and I have no idea why. I like my British TV (music and movies too). I try to keep up with these things. But even my mother, who doesn’t follow anything British, had heard of Misfits before me. So disappointed in myself.

The plot goes like this:  Six young adults are doing mandated community service when a freak storm sends lightning and ice crashing around them. When struck by a bolt, they contract special abilities. Now they must contend with their erratic abilities, probation worker, conflicting personalities, and a mess of complications.

Misfits: Nathan and Simon

My favorite characters: Nathan (Robert Sheehan) and Simon (Iwan Rheon)

I am entranced by Misfits. I started the first episode as a break from working on forms, and before I knew it, it was past bedtime. As much as the plot sounds like a B-rated science fiction laugh-fest (which, honestly, I still like), it isn’t. The story is character driven. From the cover photo on Hulu (playing full episodes online for free), I thought it would be a teen drama. Nope, quite adult. The situations, language, and actions all have an adult quality to them, which grounded the absurd powers aspect.

The next day, I only wanted to watch more. It’s the nerd in me—it makes me want to binge on media and distract me from all else, which brings me right back to the beginning of this post:  The Renaissance Festival. For those who don’t know, a Renaissance Festival, or Ren Fest, is a fair that recreates the English Renaissance—or thereabouts. Actors wear historical clothing and perform throughout the day. Vendors, usually also in costume, sell crafts including beer mugs, jewelry, costumes, and artwork.

Last Saturday I made my yearly drive to Ren Fest. I haven’t gone in costume since I was very young, but I love people watching those who do. This year I saw some awesome royalty, gypsy, and pirate costumes. I even saw an Orc! This year I caught performances by The Danger Committee, who juggle and throw sharp things, and Vilification Tennis, who throw insults.

In addition to a wicked sunburn, I brought home the following (click to make bigger):

What shows have you binged on? Have you been to a renaissance festival? Share your experience below!