It’s a bit padded, and the ending is trite, but In Your Eyes is a sweetly realized and moving fantasy romance.
Brin Hill’s In Your Eyes, written by geek deity Joss Whedon, is essentially a film about how conversation can lead to romance, but more than that, it’s about how a romantic presence in our lives can make us appear a little bit nutty to the outside world. The two lead actors may seem like boilerplate-pretty, typical white romantic leads, but they are allowed to casually talk, slowly revealing little character foibles, and eventually become friendly and appealing (Zoe Kazan, especially). Whedon’s greatest strength as a screenwriter, I have come to discover, seems to be creating lighthearted and appealing people who converse well. And while his characters can occasionally come across as a bit too flippant for their own good (I have heard several critics complain about the samey-ness of his leads) and he tends to get lost in his broad fantasy conceits, here he seems to have reined himself in a bit, allowing the story to grow from the characters and not the other way around. Hill and Whedon seem to be a good match.
Kazan plays a rich married New Hampshire socialite named Rebecca. Michael Stahl-David plays a lonely lower-class New Mexico ex-con named Dylan. All through their lives, these two have been oddly psychically connected, a connection which manifests itself one days when they are adults. They can see through each other’s eyes, converse out loud, and feel each other’s touching. They begin to have conversations, pretty much elated to have these new voices in their heads that they can shoot the breeze with. Having that presence in each other’s lives – private, their own – effects them both for the better. She becomes happier and more assertive. Knowing that a woman may be watching him at all times, Dylan begins to clean up his awful trailer. They’re essentially on a 24-hour psychic Skype with one another.
The comic possibilities for this setup are explored in fun, creative ways. One can help the other fix their car. In one scene, Dylan goes on a date, and Rebecca carefully set the time aside to openly spy on him. Dylan sniffs dirty laundry at the same time Rebecca is smelling groceries. These comic moments are told with a light touch, and never feel dumb or slapstick. This was a conceit I have seen explored before in both the G.I. Joe cartoon and in the 2007 cult shocker I Know Who Killed Me, but it works the best here. It won’t take long before our two leads give into the halcyon tone, and predictably begin falling in love. This makes sense. The intimacy they share seems to have taken over their lives. Their respective peers think they are both crazy, and I kind of wish they had thought to cover up their public conversations with Bluetooths (Blueteeth?).
Zoe Kazan is an actress I’ve been eyeballing since I saw her in a supporting role in the largely-forgotten 2007 film Fracture. She is a sensitive, pretty, natural actress who can bring out the humanity in whatever role she plays. She is the perfect fit for a moody romance like In Your Eyes, because we like her instantly. The filmrer works as well as it does largely thanks to her performance. Even when In Your Eyes begins to drag through the middle (and the setup does sound more appropriate for a short film, now that I think of it), Kazan is still appealing.
The film’s ending is, sadly, protracted and dumb, and involves a hastily introduced plot conceit that requires a clichéd race-across-the-airport type of ending, a chase, and a bizarre action film-like prison escape. I would have preferred that the stakes be resolved emotionally, rather than with actions. Will our two lovers meet in person, or will being connected by remote be enough? And in a world where people connect on social networks, maintain relationships over cell phones, and can actually foster marriage through Twitter, how important is it to meet in person? These notions are appealingly brushed up against, even if they are largely brushed aside for a more obvious climax.
One must admire screenwriter Whedon’s work ethic. Although he’s a beloved icon in the geek community, and is best known for writing and directing the biggest superhero blockbuster to date (meaning he can pretty much write anything, and his fans will follow), he is still eager to explore smaller stories in smaller venues, as proved by In Your Eyes and his own low-budget, shot-at-his-house, nice-try Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing last year. I think writers and directors are more interesting when they are working with limits. Hill’s direction should not be overlooked either; He provides an emotional touch.
In Your Eyes is available online only, and will not be released in theaters, as far as I can tell. It maybe be given a Blu-ray and DVD release eventually. It’s worth the five bucks it takes to rent it.
Rating: 3.5 Burritos
Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s sequel to their 2005 outing, Sin City, has another bright and shiny new trailer to tantilze the masses, and though it’s light on new footage compared to the first one, the inner madness of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is clearly alive and well, as evidenced by the slick-backed, noir-ized machinations taken from the graphic novels on which the movies are based.
Taking place before the doings in the original Sin City film (taken from Miller’s “The Big Fat Kill”), A Dame to Kill For follows Dwight as he’s hunted by the only woman he ever loved, Ava Lord. This, of course, immediately sends his life down a hellhole. Handily — considering Dwight was originally played by Clive Owen in the 2005 film — the film’s storyline also helps to explain how and why Dwight came to have such a different face. But his is just one of many, as the movie carries a seriously stacked cast to go along with its high-gloss action and stylized violence: Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Dennis Haysbert, Powers Boothe, Jamie King, Jeremy Piven, Juno Temple, Ray Liotta, Rosario Dawson, Stacy Keach, and Lady Gaga all appear in the flick, which opens August 22, 2014.
What are you most looking forward to in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For? Let us hear it in the comments.
DRAMA! Sex Educator Twanna Hines and comedian Jenn Tisdale help Sandra explore the myriad questions of monogamy. TOPICS: Dating Complications, When a Relationship Begins, Denying Feelings, Ongoing Intention, James Deen, Being a Good Person, One-Sided Monogamy, Keeping Secrets, Managing Your Relationship, Appreciating What You Have, Runaway Train, Attraction, Guilt, Flirting, Needing Attention, and Jealousy. Stay tuned next week when we pickup on jealousy… AND BEYOND!
Twanna A. Hines, M.S., is an award-winning educator and columnist focused on the sociology of sexuality and its relationship to culture and Internet technology. Founder of Funky Brown Chick, she has appeared on CNN, NPR, Sirius, CBC (Canadian National Radio), and Paris Première (French Television). She has written for Lifetime, Mashable, New York Press, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, and Al Jazeera. She has also been quoted in a host of outlets throughout the U.S., from New York magazine to the San Francisco Chronicle.
When he’s not spending his time fighting the forces of Hydra on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Clark Gregg is busy writing and directing indie features with some of the coolest actors in the business, and his latest outing, Trust Me, looks like some of his best work on that front yet.
We had a chance to get a look at a clip of this film when Gregg participated in a recent Nerdist Writers Panel, and we can say for certain that 1) this movie brings the goods on the comedy front and 2) Sam Rockwell does a really good slimy douche opposite Gregg.
For those not familiar with the film, Trust Me follows, according to the official synopsis, “Howard Holloway, a down-on-his luck agent for child actors and truly one the last good guys left in Hollywood. After discovering a 13-year-old acting prodigy (newcomer Saxon Sharbino), he is poised to close the deal of a lifetime which would catapult his tween client and, at long last, himself, into the big time. With the support of his gorgeous new neighbor (Amanda Peet), he must wrangle the actress’ volatile, overprotective father (Paul Sparks), dodge a scheming producer (Felicity Huffman), and outwit his uber-slick nemesis (Sam Rockwell).”
Trust Me premiers on VOD May 6th and in limited release on June 6th.
HT: The Film Stage
When tickets went on sale for legendary comedy troupe Monty Python’s upcoming dates at the O2 Arena in London, they sold out in mere seconds. Those lucky few ticket buyers perhaps didn’t know it at the time, but this set of shows might be the last time that Monty Python performs together. But if you didn’t get tickets, Picturehouse Entertainment has just acquired the rights to broadcast The Last Night of Monty Python live to theaters across the entire world.
450 theaters with about 1500 screens will show the event on July 20th. There’s no word about a subsequent home video release, but since they’ll be filming the show, that’s a possibility. In either event, with the live screening, you’ll have a chance to see what might possibly be the last performance of Monty Python.
When it comes to summer fare, TNT is quickly becoming one of the top networks in the game. Most recently, the network unveiled an all new trailer for the upcoming season of alien-invasion drama Falling Skies, and now, fresh off that drop, they’ve just released an all new trailer for their upcoming military/post-apocalyptic drama, The Last Ship:
If Falling Skies is the most Steven Spielberg-ish TV series currently running, this looks like the most Michael Bay-ish. Military, mayhem, explosions, ground-level heroes… it’s hard to believe this show isn’t going to kick some major virus ass when it premieres. Also, the show is co-created by Hank Steinberg, whose current claim to fame is ABC’s short-lived The Nine. We could be in for a real treat come June 22nd.
Production has begun on the live action adaptation of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps, and the feature film has added Super 8 star Ryan Lee to the cast.
Due out in the spring of 2016, Goosebumps features Jack Black as Stine himself and Dylan Minnette as Zach, the young man who moves in next door to him to the horror author. When Zach discovers that the monsters Stine has been writing about are actually real and have been set free by Goosebumps series favorite Slappy, the evil ventriloquist dummy, Stine, Zach and his friends are tasked with the job of putting the monsters back in the books.
Goosebumps, starring Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush and Ryan Lee, is scheduled to be released in theaters March 23, 2016.
Still on the fence of about Turtle Rock Studios’ 4v1 Evolve? This interactive trailer from the studio might just change your mind. Or it won’t, which means you don’t like (increasingly) giant monster smashing Hunters, which means I don’t know if we can be friends.
The game’s devs are on hand to provide commentary as we watch the Hunter eating and growing while the Hunters pursue and try to eat him. We also get a solid look at some of the game’s weapons (the harpoon and mobile arena are especially cool), while the Goliath uses the environment to escape its pursuers.
Evolve will be available on the Xbox One, PS4, and PC later this year.
Hey there, friends, and welcome to yet another delicious episode of Nerdist News!
On today’s show, we’re taking a peek at the trailers for a new horror flick called As Above, So Below and Evolve, the new game from the team that brought you Left 4 Dead. We’re breaking down the word from NASA’s Humans to Mars Conference. We’re checking out the news that a Watch Dogs movie is already in the works, from the writers of Zombieland. And to top it all off, we’re telling you how to score your very own copy of Daylight, the upcoming survival-horror game written by our hostess with the mostest, Jessica Chobot!
It’s a stuffed episode today, folks, so enjoy, come check out tomorrow’s Nerdist News WTFridays, and let us know in the comments below what scares you!
In July, indie publisher OSSM comics is launching the first installment of Monomyth, their Biblically-inspired fantasy by writer Siike Donnelly and artist Eric Ninaltowski. And we’ve got your exclusive first look at the series in a four-page preview.
First, a quick primer on Monomyth from the publisher:
What if Michael fell and Lucifer prevented Adam & Eve from eating the apple? Free of sin, the people of Eden live in harmony… until Enoch’s born. Rebellious, angry, and a natural fighter, Enochmight be just what Eden needs to protect them as Michael’s army returns to annihilate.
The Zack Snyder film has just officially brought aboard Ray Fisher as half-man/half-machine Vic Stone, aka Cyborg, in the superhero epic, according to Variety. The part apparently isn't a large one, but it will indeed lay additional groundwork for the inevitable JUSTICE LEAGUE film. News of character's...
Everyone was shocked this week to learn that right-wing gun-nut, “militia” hero and anti-American “patriot” Cliven Bundy is also a frothing racist white supremacist who believes “Negroes” were “better off as slaves.” And when I say that everyone was shocked, I mean of course that no one should have been surprised even slightly, because duh.
Here are Bundy’s comments — which were delivered voluntarily at a press conference, in public, as reported by Adam Nagourney of The New York Times:
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.
“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
This is from a man who has recently become Fox-News-famous for his refusal to pay for grazing his cattle on public land. Cliven Bundy, in other words, is wholly dependent on “government subsidy.” The mythic “welfare queens” in Cadillacs and Ronald Reagan’s fantasy nightmare of “strapping young bucks” buying steak with food stamps paid for by white people don’t actually exist, but there is such a thing as welfare fraud and Cliven Bundy is what it looks like.
As Paul Waldman notes, everything about this Bundy yahoo suggested that we already knew what he would say if he ever admitted what he thinks he “knows about the Negro”:
When conservatives looked at Bundy, they saw not just a white guy, but also a cowboy, and that particular brand of character who waves an American flag while fighting the American government (in his case by stealing public property). And they saw lots of guns, which also told them he was their kind of people. Everything about him told them he was their kind of guy. And I’m sure if liberals had thought about it, they would have said, “I’ll bet this guy has some colorful ideas about race.” Conservatives would have protested that that’s a vicious and unfair stereotype. But in this case it turned out to be true, and how.
One couldn’t help but be reminded of the mini-controversy over Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson back in December, who got in trouble for some comments that were quite similar to Bundy’s. In Robertson’s case, he didn’t reach all the way back to slavery. He just said blacks were happier during the Jim Crow days of his youth: “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once…they’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.” Sarah Palin admitted that she didn’t even know what Robertson had said even as she was loudly defending him against unfair liberal attacks. Why? Well, because he too was her kind of people — Southern, Christian, gun-loving, liberal-hater. What else do you need to know?
As Cliven Bundy shows, you need to know more than that. … If you’re going to construct your politics around defining who “us” and “them” is, don’t be surprised when your new allies have some rather sharp beliefs about “them.”
Anyone care to guess what Cliven Bundy thinks about LGBT people? Do you think we even need to ask?
Kevin Drum marvels that Bundy’s Klan-eruption seems to have caught many of his Republican admirers by surprise:
Conservatives should never have rallied around Bundy in the first place, but if they’re even minimally self-aware about his particular niche in the conservative base, surely they should have seen something like this coming and kept their distance just out of sheer self-preservation. But apparently they didn’t. They didn’t have a clue that a guy like Bundy was almost certain to backfire on them eventually. They seem to have spent so long furiously denying so much as a shred of racial resentment anywhere in their base that they’ve drunk their own Kool-Aid.
At the very least, you’d think Republicans would have learned to put their Bundy-Robertson-Nugent faction on a three-second broadcast delay, so that whenever they say something like “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Jews” they could cut the mic.
Somewhere in America, perhaps, there is a perpetually angry white guy who loves his guns and hates the government and yet is not also a flaming racist bigot. Somewhere in America, perhaps, there is an “anti-government” militia enthusiast whose seething resentment of supposedly extravagant “government handouts to the poor” is not driven by racial animus. But such men, if they exist at all, are very rare exceptions.*
Cliven Bundy was poster-boy of the moment for the loves-guns, hates-government strain of white conservatism. That movement traces back to the terrorist backlash against Reconstruction and it remains inextricably intertwined with white supremacy.
As Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote, “Prick a movement built on white supremacy and it bleeds … white supremacy”:
Whether it’s the Senate minority leader claiming that America should have remained legally segregated, a beloved cultural figure fondly recalling how happy black people were living under lynch law, a presidential candidate calling Barack Obama a “food-stamp president,” or a campaign surrogate calling Barack Obama “a subhuman mongrel,” the preponderance of evidence shows that modern conservatism just can’t quit white supremacy.
This is unsurprising. White supremacy is one of the most dominant forces in the history of American politics. In a democracy, it would be silly to expect it to go unexpressed. Thus anyone with a sense of American history should be equally unsurprised to discover that rugged individualist Cliven Bundy is the bearer of some very interesting theories.
Consider this yet another reminder that “intersectionality” may be a new term, but it’s a very old idea. The reactionary right has always been intersectional.
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* Yes, you can find extreme cynics like the late Lee Atwater who embrace all of that anti-government, guns, militia, anti-”welfare” (for those people) rhetoric based on a disinterested political calculus. For Atwater, promoting racist ideologies was “nothing personal.” His main motive didn’t seem to be personal animus, but rather his belief that racist voters were a key component of the tribal coalition he needed to build to secure political power. Atwater, in other words, was a racist even though he may not have believed that racism was true. (It’s possible he did, and it’s possible he didn’t, but the bottom line was that he didn’t care whether or not it was true. He only cared if it “worked.”)
Be warned, the warning list is under a cut tag because all together the list itself seemed a little triggery. ( Trigger Warnings for this fic )
In the comedy, co-written by Cohen and directed by Louis Leterrier (NOW YOU SEE ME), Strong will portray…
a British Black Ops agent who is forced to go on the run with his long-lost brother, an English...
And if the reunion doesn't do it for you, well, that picture above should prove it's simply...
⌈ Secret Post #2669 ⌋
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