Actor Focus: Anton Yelchin

There is a young actor by the name of Anton Yelchin who I believe deserves way more publicity and attention than he gets. I love this dude and whenever I see he’s in a new movie, I get very giddy and know I need to see it right away. The first thing I ever saw him in was Alpha Dog. You can read about Alpha Dog in my last post

Here is a list of movies he’s done that you must see, in order of my favorite

4. Fierce People – This one, if I remember correctly, has a few disturbing scenes, and you’ll feel pretty bad for him. It’s more of a wacky film than anything. It has Kristen Stewart in it, but I kind of try to overlook that. I think it was pre-Twilight, anyway. Here is the story line according to IMDB:

Trapped in his mother’s Lower East Side apartment, sixteen-year-old Finn wants nothing more than to escape New York and spend the summer in South America studying the Iskanani Indians, or “Fierce People,” with the anthropologist father he’s never met. But Finn’s dreams are shattered when he is arrested in a desperate effort to help his drug-dependent mother, Liz, who scrapes by working as a masseuse. Determined to get their lives back on track, Liz moves the two of them into a guest house on the vast country estate of her ex-client, the aging aristocratic billionaire, Ogden C. Osbourne. In Osbourne’s close world of privilege and power, Finn and Liz encounter a tribe fiercer and more mysterious than anything they might find in the South American jungle: the super rich. While Liz battles her substance abuse and struggles to win back her son’s love and trust, Finn falls in love with Osbourne’s beautiful granddaughter, Maya, befriends her charismatic older brother, Bryce, and even wins

Trailer:

3. The Middle of Nowhere

The best part about Anton Yelchn is he pretty much stars with one of my favorite actresses in every movie he does. In this one it’s Eva Amurri Martino (Susan Sarandon’s daughter, who is also in this movie FYI).  Here is the plot line according to IMDB:

Summer in a small southern town: Grace wants to go to college, but her feckless mom has poisoned that well (no student loans because mom has welshed on credit cards in Grace’s name). Dorian wants to escape from his snobbish adoptive parents. They team up to sell marijuana – she hopes for enough to go to college. Both investigate family secretes, and things get complicated when Dorian falls for her, Grace falls for someone else, and Grace’s 15-year-old sister behaves badly. Can Dorian find independence and Grace get to college. And what constitutes a family, anyway?

View the Trailer here:

2. Like Crazy – This is definitely a chick flick and sad at times. I love it and guess who else is in it? Jennifer Lawrence. Oh yeah!  Here is the plot line according to IMDB:

Anna and Jacob fall instantly in love when they meet as students at an L.A. university. But Anna is British and when graduation approaches, Anna decides to stay and violate her student visa rather than returning to England. After a visit home, she is then unable to return to the United States. While fighting customs and immigration battles, Anna and Jacob must decide if their relationship is worth the distance and the hardship.

1. Charlie Barlett – Ohhhh my goodness. This movie is the whole reason this list HAD to be made. I freaking love this movie, and the best new is…ITS ON NETFLIX (so is Like Crazy, btw)…It’s hilarious and also stars KAT DENNINGS AND ROBERT DOWNEY JR. It also has Tyler Hilton and a bunch of Degrassi actors lol.. Here is the plot line according to IMDB:

Although cheerful, friendly, intelligent, well-dressed, authentic and wealthy, Charlie Bartlett has problems. With his father gone and his mother loopy and clueless, he’s been expelled from every private school for his victimless crimes. Now he’s in a public school getting punched out daily by the school thug. He ever longs to be popular – the go-to guy – and the true crux of his troubles is that he invariably finds the means to this end, whatever that might be. At Western Summit High, he makes peace with his tormentor by going into business with him – listening to kids’ problems and selling them prescription drugs. Charlie’s a hit, but attraction to Susan (daughter of the school’s laissez-faire principal), new security cameras on campus, a student’s overdose, and Charlie’s open world view all converge to get him in serious trouble. Can this self-made physician possibly heal himself and just be a kid?

Trailer:

CHECK HIM OUT. He’s also in the remake of Fright Night, Terminator Salvation, and Star Trek.

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Movies based on real life crimes….they’re pretty hard to stomach

So, I wanted to take a quick break from making review blogs. Not every blog I post is going to be a review on a movie I watched, but rather a list of movies I’d like to recommend, and why….Tonight you will be getting a taste of my very first list blog post…

This particular list is short. This is based on 6 movies that are terrifying and based on actual events. The first two are “loosely” based on actual events; meaning, the stories were based on real life crimes that happen, but not focused on one true event.

6. The Lovely Bones – The Lovely Bones is actually a novel that was turned into a film. it stars Mark Wahlberg, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci and the main character is played by Saoirse Ronan. It’s about a girl named Susie Salmon who is raped and murdered by a child molester neighbor. In the movie, she is stuck in the in between watching her family deal with her disappearance. While, I do not believe this story was about anyone in particular, it was to bring focus to all the young girls who this has happened to, which in itself, makes it just as sad as it would if Susie Salmon was a real girl. 

5. The Strangers – The strangers terrifies the shit outta me, and I don’t get scared by movies….However, this one hits me in a weak spot due to the theme of being a home invasion. This film stars Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman (you may remember him as the love interest in Felicity..Ben)  It’s about a couple who go to a cabin in the middle of nowhere and it gets invaded by these people in masks. This movie was inspired by the Manson murders and a less famous murder known as the Keddie Murders that involved a mother and her children who were staying in a Cabin Sierra Nevada (California)

4. Alpha Dog – Alpha Dog breaks my heart. It stars Justin Timberlake, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried, and one of my favorite actors Anton Yelchin (I’ll be doing a blog on this guy soon). It is the true story of a drug dealer who gets screwed over by one of his customers, so in return, he kidnaps the dudes brother (played by Yelchin)…Yelchin becomes friends with his kidnappers and parties with them. he forms a really tight bond with Justin Timberlake’s character (in a brotherly type of way). I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who wants to see it, but the end is absolutely horrible & involves a decision made between Yelchin, Hirsch, and Timberlake. You’ll just have to watch it.

3. Zodiac – Zodiac has a great cast – Robert Downey Jr. Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Chloe Sevingy, and even Lee Norris (Minkus from BMW) has a small appearance in the film..However, it is a terrible story because it’s true, and a lot of people died. The movie focuses around the Zodiac killer — a guy who had 7 confirmed victims (two survived), but claims to have murdered 37 people. This took place in the 60s-70s in California. There have been a lot of claims on who the Zodiac killer may be, but he was never caught and there is no proof. The guy they suspected to be (and most likely was) died shortly before they could get him to confess.

2. Boys Don’t Cry – This movie stars the beautiful Hilary Swank, and another actress I really enjoy, Chloe Sevigny. This movie is a true story based on the life on a transgender (female-to-male) named Brandon Teena…I hear the movie was upsetting to the real people involved and did not portray parts of it accurately, but I still think it’s a great story to tell and how these horrible things happen to the LGBT community. Brandon fell in love with a girl named Lana. Lana was apart of a group of friends Brandon had made; however, once they found out Brandon was really a “girl” originally named Teena Brandon, two of the guys brutally raped him repeatedly (he was a virgin). Originally, they let him go, but later got spooked that he’d go to the cops, so they killed him. Definitely a heart breaking film, but it’s a good educational movie to show what ignorance can do. An innocent lovely person died because people could not accept who he was. Sickening…

1. An American Crime

With a long list of well known actors (Ellen Page, Catherine Keener, James Franco, Bradley Whitford, Nick Searcy, Ari Graynor) you wouldn’t expect to watch such a brutal film. The acting is incredible and the story is disturbing, flat out upsetting, and will literally make you sick to your stomach to watch. To this day, I still have a hard time enjoying anything with Catherine Kenner. Her acting was so good in the movie, I still feel like she was actually the monster who committed the crime, rather than just the actress.

An American Crime tells the true story of a young girl named Sylvia Likens and her younger sister, Jennie. Their parents were in a travelling carnival, so the Liken sisters decided to stay at the house of a woman named Gertrude Baniszewski. Sylvia had just befriended Gertrude’s daughters. This event took place in 1965 in Indiana. Gertrude had a lot of mental problems and was poor, supporting a lot of children. She agreed to let the girls there in exchange for $$ promised by the girls father. The payments started coming late so Gertrude started taking it out on Sylvia. She locked her in the basement, and the neighborhood kids would take turns beating her.. They starved her, made her eat her own feces, and carved words into her chest. These are only some of the nasty things they did to this poor girl. There are some things you’ll see in the movie that I can’t even bring myself to say. This movie is NOT a movie to watch for entertainment. It will break every little piece of your heart, and it does not have a happy ending. I recommend this movie for those who have an interest in murder crimes and would like to understand the history. It is definitely not a “date night” movie or something to watch because you are bored and want to be entertained.

Boyhood

Boyhood – R 165 Minutes

Trailer:

Starring: Patricia Arquette Ellar Coltrane Lorelei Linklater Ethan Hawke

My Rating: 7

IMDB Rating: 8.2

Would I watch i with my parents: Yes

So, I learned about Boyhood a few weeks before the Oscars. I thought the idea was brilliant and I was curious and impressed that they were able to pull it off. What bothered me though, is I could not find a plot line anywhere before I watched it….I mean I get it, they use the same actors for 12 years and watch them grow — but what’s the story? Well now I understand, there is no story.. And the description IMDB gives is about as perfect as you can get “The life of Mason, from early childhood to his arrival at college.” This could be a BIT of a spoiler, but I don’t think too bad…

The movie is good. I liked it…But, it is very long. verrrry long. Almost 3 hours…Which feels more like 4 hours when it’s a slow plot. The movie starts off with Mason and his sister as little kids. Their mom is a single mom who is going to school and trying her best to support her kids. I think Patricia’s character comes off as kind of “cold” at the beginning, or bitter…So, I was unsure on how she was going to develop throughout the movie.

Ethan Hawke plays their father who had gone away for a bit and is now back and wants to spend time with his kids. I really like him, he doesn’t come off as a deadbeat, but rather a father who had kids very young and needed to self discover himself to really be able to be a good father. He admits being back in their lives in a learning process, but throughout the movie, he is there for them.

It is cool to watch an actor grow right before your eyes, but Boyhood is a movie you really need to pay attention to. There is no warning that they are skipping ahead years and aging the characters. The only way you know that the next scene is years later is by the sister, Samantha. You can tell as she gets older.. Mason kind of looks the same for awhile, but as he ages you can start to tell by his different hair styles.

To be honest, I don’t think Mason has much of a personality until he gets into his senior year of high school, and college…Until then he’s just kind of a character on the screen who says stuff sometimes, lol. Samantha seems to have more character development throughout the movie.

Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette honestly look like they don’t age at all in those 12 years. Kudos to them. They looked fantastic the whole movie.

Because there is no MAJOR plot line, I don’t want to discuss the things that happen, otherwise there is no point in watching the movie, and I definitely think it’s worth watching. I enjoyed it and I hope they make a sequel. I’d like to see Mason’s college years and early adulthood.

Have a movie you want me to watch and review. Let me know in the comments!