Getting Back into the Groove of Things (TT6)

Thoughtful ThursdaySo this will be a much shorter Thoughtful Thursday as I’ve got a lot on my plate this week. With the return of classes, I’ve found myself busier than ever before. I procrastinated in getting books and a parking pass, both of which I still haven’t gotten, and I’m just feeling a bit disenfranchised. I’m not sure why, but I’m not feeling that all in this semester. It might be that haven’t really had a break since the Summer of 2013 and I’m no where near the degree that I want. Also, last semester was one of extreme highs and lows. Working on film sets was amazing and being around my friends all day when I was going through some tough times made the hardships a bit easier.

This semester I’m not surrounded by that same support group that I, maybe selfishly, leaned on. I’ve had some films fall through and I don’t see many coming up in the next few months. I’m taking classes that I don’t necessarily want, but I have to take and I just hope that they’re interesting enough to get through. It feels like last semester was only a week ago and I just need a break. I’m trying with all my might to keep up Top 5 Tuesdays and Thoughtful Thursdays up as well as one or two reviews. Oddly enough, even though reviews and all the other articles posted on here are hard work and take up time, it’s sort of relaxing to sit down and write about my passions. This isn’t as cheerful as previous Thoughful Thursdays, but it’s what was on my mind and I hope you guys liked it.

That being said, one of the things that took my mind off the stress of college starting up again was watching and reviewing Reverb, a review and short you should definitely check out.

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Top 5 Tuesday: Favorite Childhood Movies

Hey everyone, today marks the start up of college once again. I’ve sort of been falling behind in preparation for classes, but I will not fall behind on Top 5 Tuesdays. So here is the list of my favorite movies from when I was a child, note that these are not necessarily child friendly movies.

5. Batman Forever

I’ve always loved superhero movies, and while Batman Forever still holds a special spot in my heart, it’s not a good movie. It’s great compared to Batman & Robin, but still no where near the Keaton Batman. I personally like that Batman more than Forever, but this is me trying to think in my childhood mindset. I loved the zany Riddler and the more comedic Two-face, but they didn’t age too well.

4. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Easily one of the best Jim Carrey performances. He’s funny, quotable and did I say funny? This isn’t one of my favorites anymore, but I still love it more than most modern comedy films. The sequel doesn’t hold a candle, but Ace Ventura is definitely a must see film for comedy lovers. Laces Out!

3. The Matrix

It’s hard to believe that I quite young when this movie came out. It was a revolutionary film that blew my small mind as a child. I pretty much watched it once a week on VHS when I was a child. It was probably the best movie from my childhood, but oddly it wasn’t my favorite.

2. Mystery Men

Mystery_Men_film_posterI loved superhero films growing up (I still do, but who doesn’t). Mystery Men is sort of a superhero film, but it is crazy and hilarious. Ben Stiller, Paul Ruebens and William H. Macy made my younger self laugh like a never before. I watched the movie pretty much every day and could quote the movie like an expert. It had flashy effects for the time, flashier than what I had seen at least. It had everything my little brain could ever want.

1. The Mask

Jim Carrey, man, he gets me every time. I loved this movie just a slight bit more than Mystery Men and I literally watched this movie daily as a kid. Now looking back, there were a lot of jokes that went straight over my head, but that just makes rewatching it now even more fun. Who would have thought my favorite childhood movie had condom jokes.

A few of my thoughts about the Golden Globes

So as most people know, the Golden Globes were last night. It was a pretty entertaining night, with great hosts, interesting nominees and it also gets me excited for the Academy Awards. So here are a few quick thoughts about last night.

*I thought Tina and Amy were hilarious, with a lot great mix of jokes. Some didn’t really hit, but the ones that did hit hard. I’m looking forward to see who hosts next year, but Tina and Amy will be a tough act to follow.
*I was so happy with Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne winning their respective awards. I actually haven’t seen either of their movies, but from small clips and critics reviews, it sounds like they deserve it.

*It was pretty obvious that Julianne Moore would win, as everyone predicted it, but it was nice to see her win. This might make her the only candidate for Best Actress at the Oscars.

*Television was a bit weird as quite a few shows I hadn’t seen won and most were shows I didn’t expect to win.

KevinSpaceyApr09*I was rooting for House of Cards to win Best Drama, but expected it to lose. I was surprised that it lost to The Affair. I am glad the Kevin Spacey won, though.

*I was also surprised Transparent won. I haven’t seen the show since it’s on Amazon, but I had expected something like Orange is the New Black to win. I’m not a fan of Orange is the New Black, it seems most people are so it seemed like a no-brainer.

*Gina Rodriquez surprised me as I haven’t seen that show and had heard she deserved to win but it wasn’t likely that she would.

*In my opinion Fargo should have swept, especially with Allison Tolman’s performance as well as Colin Hanks. It was all around my favorite show when it came out and with recent casting news for season 2, I’m even more excited.

So that just about wraps up all my thoughts on the Golden Globes. While some of the snubs bummed me out, a lot of the wins were pleasantly surprising.

How I Run Things: State of the Site (#1)

Hey guys, with my previous Thoughtful Thursday, I got to thinking. I really should periodically let you know what’s going on with how things are going on here. I might talk about new commenters to the website, a comment that I particularly like, articles or reviews that gained a lot of audience interaction and stuff like that. I only plan on doing this once a month or so and I don’t plan on talking too heavily on views, since they don’t necessarily reflect participation. So without further ado, here is the first post regarding the state of the site.

First things first, I should mention the reviews as a whole. Reviews have always and will always be the biggest part of The Bishop Review, I mean review is in the name, so it has to be, right? Anyways, I’ve been trying to come out with 3-4 reviews per week and have the majority of them be in depth and fully reflective of how I felt about the film. I have occasionally released a shorter review, either because it’s a re-review or a review of a film that I couldn’t find much to write about. Either way, I try to keep all my reviews as accurate as my readers would expect of me, which is hopefully very accurate. In terms of numbers, they’ve been good for reviews, but like I said, I’m more invested in participation, which has been hit and miss. Some articles are always going to get a bigger response than others, but in a perfect world all my reviews would have 100 comments. I wouldn’t say to expect any big changes coming to the reviews in the near future.

Now with Top 5 Tuesday’s, those have a pretty equal view to participation ration. A lot of people like the lists, read the lists and comment about them. Everyone loves lists, including me, and they’re a lot of fun. For the near future, I anticipate continuing the Top 5 lists. I like keeping it different from week to week and I’m thinking about dropping clues on The Bishop Review’s twitter. I want to keep these lists fun and I want you guys to have fun reading them, so that’s my main goal for Top 5 Tuesdays.

Now I’ll end this little update talking about Thoughtful Thursdays. Thoughtful Thursdays haven’t yet gained much traction in views, which for a while made me nervous. The views aren’t very high and at first glance, the response was hard to gauge. Then, in the past few days, the latest Thoughtful Thursday gained a lot of readers and from their response, it seemed good. Also, the third TT had been linked to by people on Twitter and it looks as if people liked it. I think the first three, while being great posts, were brought down by their poor titles. They were only called Thoughtful Thursday # and nobody wants to read something called that, right? So from now on I will be actually titling it and putting (TT#) at the end of the title. Also, there has been a healthy string of more positive oriented Thoughtful Thursday, but that won’t always be the case. There’s a TT in the pipeline that is more somber. I’m not sure when it will be up as I haven’t finished it and I’m not sure if I want to post it right away, or even at all. If TT continues with this upward trend in participation, there is no doubt that it will keep it’s weekly slot. If it doesn’t look like a lot of people are enjoying it, I might put a hiatus on the posts and try to find something more fun for all the readers.

Later State of the Site posts might look different than this, but for now I’m happy and I hope you enjoyed seeing more of the technical side of my thinking and how I try to run this website. My biggest hope is that you enjoy what you read here, and now is the best time to speak up about what you like and don’t like with the site at the moment.

Top 5 Tuesday: My Favorite Movies of 2014

Now I will preface this by saying that I really sucked this year when it came to going to the movies. I think I only saw 4 or 5 movies at the theater and waited for the rest to come in the mail from Netflix. This was a really lazy year for me, so don’t expect Birdman or Boyhood, which I’m sure will find a place on my list once I watch them.

5. 22 Jump Street

22_Jump_Street_PosterThis was easily the funniest movie I’ve seen this year. The Tatum/Hill combo is very deadly, they have some of the best chemistry in recent memory. The film is pretty much one big joke and it pays of very well. It might not be as good as the first, but to strike gold twice in a comedy franchise is very rare, just look at The Hangover movies. You can read more about my thoughts on this movie here.

4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The first Captain America was the weakest of the Avengers movies, but it’s safe to say this was the strongest. It felt less like a superhero movie and more like a political thriller, which made the movie feel new in an era where Superhero movies feel very much the same. This was the point where Chris Evans proved he was the perfect casting for Captain America and it made people excited for the third installment, Civil War. I can’t wait to see Captain America and Iron Man go head to head.

3. Edge of Tomorrow

What a surprise! This might have been the second movie I saw in theaters this year and it made me so happy that I had. It was funny, had a lot of action and great performances by Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise is the kind of actor where if you love him or hate him, mostly hate him, you have to admit that he has a lot of great movies and great performances, like Mission Impossible 4, Tropic Thunder and now Edge of Tomorrow.

X-Men_Days_of_Future_Past_poster2. X-Men Days of Future’s Past

I’m pretty sure this was the first movie that I saw in theaters. If you haven’t seen it yet, rectify that. It’s easily the best in the franchise and doesn’t rely as much on Wolverine as some of the previous movies. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still prominent, unlike in First Class, but McAvoy and Fassbender’s rivalry also takes center-stage. When those two actors are on screen, only good things come from it.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy

This was not only my favorite movie of the year (at the moment) but it was also the biggest surprise. Everything about this movie was amazing. The writing, the directing, the acting, the music and everything in between was a perfect medley of…perfection. It outdid the Avengers in bringing heroes together and introducing me and a lot of other people to Starlord, Gamora and you can’t forget Groot. Man, this was a good movie. I can’t wait to watch it again…and again…and again.

Thoughtful Thursday #2

Thoughtful ThursdayThe biggest surprise for me, that I’ve found in my couple of years of writing reviews is which ones take off. Posts you think will be hits are often times duds and the reviews you write just to clarify one issue or just a silly post can become huge. My biggest post of all time, while not completely surprising, is still shocking considering all the other posts that I have written. That review is…drum roll please…Django Unchained Re-review.

90373_galYeah, not the original review that came out the day the movie was released, but the re-review that was posted only 4 months after the original. It was a much longer review and did contain spoilers for the film, possibly making it a more interesting read, but I’m still shocked by its placement as the most viewed page other than the home page. For a while my most viewed review was Lincoln, which made sense since it had Oscar buzz months before the movie came out. The Django Unchained re-review is quite possibly the best of my reviews, it has a lot of images and goes pretty in-depth, but I will admit that there are other reviews and articles that I had imagined would have been huge hits. I’m not sour that they didn’t get hundreds of views, but it’s always funny when your expectations are too high for any certain thing. The re-review wasn’t at all done in trying to get more views, it was because I rewatched the film and realized I was an idiot for not giving it a perfect 5.

Readers who have followed this site for a while might remember that I’m a huge fan of fun facts and that my current reviews have lacked them, so I’ll give you guys a fun fact right here and now. The day that this article is posted is the two year anniversary of my first Django Unchained review, which I did not realize when I started this Thoughtful Thursday. On a side note, I should probably mention why I no longer have a fun fact readily available with each and every review. It’s not out of laziness, but I did find that my fun facts were rarely fun. If I know something about a production that is truly fun, I will include it, but if enough people want the fun facts back completely, I would gladly oblige.

Anyways, if you’re reading this on the 25th, Merry Christmas!

Camp Takota (Film Review)

Camp_Takota_Official_Movie_PosterI should probably preface this by saying that had this not been on Netflix streaming, I probably would not have watched this. I have nothing against Grace Helbig, I find her hilarious but her plugs for the film seemed like I wouldn’t like it. After watching the first minute or two, I felt like my first impression was a correct one. Anyways, here the review.

So within the first minute or two of the film, I feared this would be one that I would turn off before the midway point. Grace Helbig is very stiff in her performance, especially in the beginning and the guy playing her fiance was just as stiff. When they were on-screen together, it felt very much like a student film. Once the Hart ladies get on-screen, it all gets a bit better. They seem to elevate one another when they’re together. There are still scenes between them that feel very amateur, but it’s leaps and bounds better than the beginning. The movie’s performance never fully escapes the student film feel, but it more often has glimpses of a good independent film. The three leads, while staples on Youtube, could all have a future in film with just a little improvement.

Mamrie_Hart_and_Grace_Helbig_at_No_Filter_in_December_2013The story is pretty interesting. The film follows Helbig’s character, Elise. Elise has a great life, she’s engaged and working a great job until her life takes a turn for the worse. She resorts to going to her childhood camp, Camp Takota to get away. The script has good jokes and an interesting enough plot. It’s not a slice of perfection, but it’s solid enough. It’s also great to see a movie with female protagonists written by women. Not only is Mamrie Hart the best performer in the movie, she is one of the reasons why the script and the dialogue was so strong. Sure, boiled down this is a story about relationships, but it’s also about moving on and being happy being yourself, which is an important message not always preached. Sure, there’s wrenches in the mix, but that’s a common trait in any film. One could argue that it wraps itself into a little bow a little too cleanly, but I’ll admit, I was a sucker for that ending.

Some of the biggest issues were with the visuals and the sound. Some shots had audio not lined up, mostly which reaction shots, which isn’t a bad thing normally but the angle of the shots they do made it very apparent. Other times the audio quality was sub par, ruining any sort of pretty visuals. There’s an over use of dissolves, which are often unneeded in between shots, also there are some scenes that end with a fade to black and no audio whatsoever. The loss of visuals is fine, but having some sort of music or natural sounds or room tones prevents the oddness from coming through. Without it, it feels like a really strange mistake.

It should be known that this film is more adult-oriented, which can be confusing by the title and the basic plot description. Dialogue doesn’t pull punches and the main subject matter is more for late teens to young adults. I’d say it’s more for young women, but men can also enjoy it since most of the humor isn’t gender-specific. It’s a fun watch, has good laughs and glimpses of some really good performances.

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