Saturday, December 30, 2017

Eimer's Best Movie Experiences of 2017

All in all, I watched some pretty good 2017 new releases this year. This is only a handful of the films that stood out. But I'm only going to give you 10. No more. No less.

So, please go out and snag these movies with your eyes. They're very good.

Oh, and please give my 1SentenceMoviesReviews Twitter Page some love. Feel free to like or retweet a couple of my posts while you're at it, too.













What about you? What were your favorites movie experiences of this year? Either new release or old release. I don't care!!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Eimer's Worst Movie Experiences of 2017

This year, it seemed to me like there were a lot of dud movies in 2017, which is why I think I stayed away from a lot of the new releases.

Plus, with a 10-year old boy and almost 12-year old female tween in our household, we were able to watch a lot of movies from my past that needed to be seen by my kids including Time Bandits, Rain Man, Schindlers List,  Ferris Bueller, and of course, Problem Child 1 and the much-better sequel, and more and more and more.

So, for me, this year was steeped in nostalgia rather than the crap that sifts to the top of the sewer tank. In other words, Rottentomatoes, New Yorker and word of mouth helped me immensely in choosing my movies wisely.

In any event, is this list, like, the worst movies ever made? Probably not. They're just a handful of those so-so movies that I had high hopes for, and they ultimately disappointed or fell below par in the end.

C'est La Vie. Enjoy...
















What about you? What's the worst movie you saw this year?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Eimer's Best Reads of 2017

     

To all of those unaware, I love Goodreads, a website/app that allows you to keep track of the books you previously read, books you want to read, and currently reading. It's a great book community site that, frankly, is a lot better than Facebook. It's been a real help for me when I enter a bookstore, or a library, or Amazon.com and my mind freezes and I can't remember what book I want to read next.

Well, I bring this up because, every year, I enter a reading challenge. It's sort of a motivator to kickstart my book-reading for the year. This year, I didn't do too shabby ...


That said, I came across a number of great books. Some good. Some bad. Most of which weren't printed in 2017. But, who cares, I'm playing catch-up with other decades (as you'll see below). Enjoy the list.

And, if you have time, send me the favorite book you've read in 2017. Of course, I'll toss it on my Goodreads 'to-read' queue. Links to Amazon.com if you're interested in purchasing.

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
Although J.D. Vance is from Kentucky and grew up in Middleton, Ohio. And although he had more difficult parental issues than I could ever imagine, his account of life as a 'hillbilly' and the economic struggles his family entailed hits close to home. Great autobiographical, warts-and-all account of Vance's youthful upbringing. On a personal note, I grew up in Martins Ferry, Ohio (near Wheeling, West Virginia). I had a great life. I have great childhood memories. I was also very fortunate to have both a mother and father and loving relatives that helped raise me. But, I also grew up with a lot of poverty. You could honestly toss Vance's story into my hometown and not miss a beat. The cast of real-life family characters in his book echoes a lot of families in my small town (including my own). Look, I echo Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's sentiment that if you're born white, you automatically have a monstrous advantage — educationally, economically, culturally, in this society. But, for whatever reason, it doesn't feel like it if you grew up in this part of the country. Regardless if you're black or white, right or left, you have to feel for a lot of the other people that are trying to make ends meet in the hollers of Appalachian America. Again, good read. Highly recommended.

Great modern-day fantasy novel. The begining starts off a bit slow, but give it time - you'll be happy you did. I admire Hawkins creative mind and this is definitely a unique idea - one that hasn't been rehashed that's for sure. Don't want to give too much away, but there's a mixture of gods, lions, packs of wild dogs, people getting burned alive and resurrection. Just an oddly fantastical book that I would recommend to my fantasy-loving friends.

From a writing and structure perspective, this book is uniquely written - shooting from past to present with narrative and character changes in truly a unique fashion. And, surprisingly, it all works. I'm trying to jar my brain for a book that's been written in this exact way, but I'm at a loss. Perhaps Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five minus the time traveling? No. Through each chapter, we learn more and more about the passengers of a plane that crashed into the Atlantic traveling from Long Island back to New York. We also learn more about our main protagonist Scott Burroughs - with the police, FBI and national media on his tail. Is he a hero? Is he behind the crash? Is he in it for the money? It's interesting how Hawley (of Fargo TV series fame) weaves this rather mundane story into a page-turner of a novel. Check 'er out!

As someone that's (a) growing older, (b) currently going through career existentialism and (c) in the advertising field, this books hits home on a lot of different ways to me. Gill, is a much more successful advertising figure than myself and - after more than 15+ years at JWT finds himself out on his ass, due to seemingly two things (a) his big salary and (b) his age. Such is the life of a marketer. I've been told that 50-years old is the cut-off, termination point for many top creatives in the field. I guess old people can't be creative or something. They can't speak to the current purchasing generation, which I find is both insulting and bullshit. If this is the case, then I'm about 6 years away from searching for a new identity. Gill was as well. And, with his back against the wall, he decided to take a job at Starbucks - mainly for the insurance. But, in this transformation, from the man who had it all , to the man shilling drinks at a local coffee shop - Gill finds true happiness. This is a great read. Again, it hits home for me. But I think it could speak to people of all ages who are looking for something new, something different, something drastic change in their career.

For the past 20 years, I was dragging my feet on this book. "How could a book about a hermaphrodite be any good?" I would naively ruminate as I circled this book over and over again. Well, two thumbs up from three of my co-workers motivated me to give it a shot and color me impressed. This book is more than a person with male and female organs. It's a history lesson about Greece, it paints a picture of growing up in hustling-bustling pre-poverty stricken Detroit. It's filled with humor and action and fantastic dialogue. It's a wonderful, pleasant surprise! Should have read it about 20 years ago!

Great read. Merging two stories 50 years apart - one illustrated, one written - into one beautiful story. Not going to give away the ending, but, now, I would love to head to the two museums highlighted in the book and check out the creations that they discuss. Again, highly recommended. Almost could be compared to The Invention of Hugo Cabret in the sense that this book is a mystery that unfolds like the peels of an onion as each chapter continues.

Fantastic illustrations. Believable teenage dialogue. And a strong storyline. Highly recommended for everyone. Kids and adults.

I'm not a big business type of guy. Financially, I understand how the world works, but that's just about it. Sometimes I need a visual representation to get me through some of the heavy topics of life. In this case, capitalism. Kasser's book is good. But with added illustrative representation by Larry Gonic, it's a fantastic read. It reminds me of Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics but with Capitalism. Kasser and Gonic take you through a history of capitalism in our country and around the world followed by it's steady rise into hypercapitalism. But it doesn't stop there, they also highlight ways to reverse the trends of corporate greed, low pay, and gluttonous buying. All in all, a great read - even for those people who have a hard time grasping these heady concepts ... like yours truly. 

Great book. Originally I thought this was going to be a yawner. A big slog through the JFK assassination. But, man, it turned out to be a suspenseful thriller, a history lesson on Lee Harvey Oswald and the fateful day, a romantic novel, plus a little science-fiction dabbled in - all in one. It's long. You've been warned. But, nevertheless, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. One piece of feedback. The narrator kept saying the word 'obdurate' and 'harmonize' over and over again. I get that he was trying to set this up for something to come in the novel, but that's very minor. Stephen King never fails to surprise me though. Just a big fan of his writing, even when I think I'm going to hate it.

Quick, fast read. There are better time travel books out there, but you have got to tip your hat to the imagination of H.G. Wells. He laid the groundwork and the inspiration for all of the other time travel books and movies that you see today. If you've seen the 1960 film, then - pretty much - this book will be very familiar (with the exception to the size and features of the two creatures). All in all, it's a pretty bleak look into the future. But, again, hats off to Wells and his fantastic vocabulary and writing style.

Other Top Reads From Year's Past:

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Eimer’s 2017 Fall Movie Viewing Wishlist


I hate fall. And I love fall.

I hate fall because I always get sick. Always, like four sinus infections, and some sort of intestinal flu. I also get a guaranteed migraine due to, what I believe is, the barometric pressure change in the atmosphere. Also, it's cold and shitty out. And never warm. Oh, and it gets dark earlier.

I love fall for the foliage. Halloween is always a favorite time for me. And let's not forget football. Glorious college and pro football. I also have a fondness in my heart for Thanksgiving and parties that always end up around a roaring wood fire. 

Oh, and I love fall movies, which - much like the seasons - signifies a major shift in the type of movies that are released. It's like a step up from the schlocky summer fare that the kids adore to some downright serious Academy Award contenders that adults implore. It's like the difference between a Fish Eye Merlot and a Francis Ford Copolla Claret - both available at CVS by the way.

So, with that said, here's a list of fall movies that I'm anticipating for the colder, crisper months that lie ahead.

I GOTTA SEE THESE:
IT – September 8
One of Stephen King’s best horror novels spread across two films? Plus a killer clown? Yep!

MOTHER! – September 15
Darren Aronofosky’s (The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream) mysterious movie (with an exclamation point to boot) looks like an intriguing head scratcher.

LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE – September 22
After my high hopes for 'Lego Batman Movie' were squashed, hopefully this latest flick is much more of the original and a lot less of the bat plastic crap we saw earlier this year.

AMERICAN MADE – Sept 29
People may be sick of him, but I still like Tom Cruise. And I'm hoping this drug smuggling flick by ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ and 'Go!' director Doug Liman can get him back on track.

BLADE RUNNER 2049 – Oct. 6
You had me at ‘Blade Runner’. But add in 'Arrival' director Denis Villenueve, and I’m very interested. 

THE FOREIGNER – Oct. 13
Jackie Chan meets 'First Blood' in this very apropos terrorist bombing revenge flick directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale).

THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED) – Oct. 13
One my favorite dramedy directors, Noah Baumbach, focuses his lens and script on three siblings healing old wounds while dealing with a disgruntled Dad.

WASTED: THE STORY OF FOOD WASTE – Oct. 13
Anthony Bourdain’s documentary on, well, see above, will probably be depressing, but entertaining at the same time. Right! Right?

THE SNOWMAN – Oct. 20
The trailer gives too much away, but I’m still intrigued in this best selling book transformed into a thriller movie directed by Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).

WONDERSTRUCK – Oct. 20
My son recommended Brian Selznick’s award-winning book to me over the summer. I read it and was intrigued with the overall plot techniques. Curious how Todd Haynes (Carol, Far From Heaven) will handle this New York drama (that's all I can say!).

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER – OCT 27
Creative, innovative, quirky Yorgos Lanthimos, of 'The Lobster' and 'Dogtooth' directorial fame, is back. And isn’t that enough?

SUBURBICON – OCT. 27
George Clooney directs a dark comedy based on a Coen Brothers script about 59’s suburbia? Count this suburban asshole in!

THOR: RAGNORAK – NOV. 3
The only reason this Marvel movie is on the list is because humorously eclectic director Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) is at the helm.

THE DISASTER ARTIST – DEC. 1
I’m a sucker for movies about movies. And this film, about making one of the worst reviewed films of all time (The Room) is another one. Directed by James Franco starring Franco and Seth Rogan.

THE SHAPE OF WATER – DEC. 8
Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, Pacific Rim) looks to be returning to his creepy horror roots in this aquatic creature/human love story? (note the question mark)

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – Dec. 15
Well, duh!

POSSIBLE GUILTY PLEASURES:
BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 – Oct. 6
The pro: Vince Vaughn plays a badass in prison with a kick-ass movie title. The con: It’s directed by the guy who did Bone Tomahawk, which everyone loved, but I hated.

GEOSTORM – Oct. 20
My kids are pumped for this over-steroidal SFX showcase highlighting weather and global catastrophes. You know what? So am I!

JIGSAW – Oct. 27
I gave up on the SAW series after the third film. This new trailer looks appealing enough to dip my severed toe into it once again.

MY FRIEND DAHMER – Nov. 3
I gave the graphic novel by Derf rave reviews. But, is there enough meat in this human morsel about the notorious serial killer’s high school exploits in Bath, Ohio, to sustain a full-length feature meal? Burp!

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS – Nov. 10
Kenneth Branaugh directs a fantastic cast of Depp, Cruz, Dench, Pfeiffer and himself in this Agatha Christie classic, which I’ve never read.

NOT INTERESTED IN SEEING AT ALL:
  • Flatliners – Sept. 29
  • Only the Brave – Oct. 20
  • LBJ – Nov. 3
  • Daddy’s Home 2 – Nov. 10
  • Justice League – Nov. 17
  • Wonder – Nov. 17
  • Jumanji – Dec. 20


Well, do you agree/disagree? Enquiring minds like mine want to know!!


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The nose knows that I’m making punny sense about scents



A couple weeks ago, I was involved in a brainstorm meeting at work. I grabbed a marker to start doodling ideas on our white board. Then, a familiar scent hit my nose.

The glorious smell of black licorice.
Zap! I was transported back to Kindergarten at Hilltop Elementary. Singing B-I-N-G-O with my pleasantly plump teacher Miss Barrisford.

I gazed down at the writing instrument in my hand. It was a scented black marker. Ignoring everyone’s crazy looks, I pulled the marker up to my nose and took a deep breath. The memory of that school, the song—more than 40 years ago—became more and more distinct in my mind.

Ahhhhhh!

In a zombie-like trance, I walked over to the other scented markers and began sniffing like my cat inhales luggage after we return from a weeklong vacation. Each distinct smell brought back a distinct vision in my brain.

Cherry.
Zap! Putting the finishing touches on a Santa Claus drawing in Ms. Ramser’s first-grade class anxiously awaiting the bus to leave on Christmas break. 

Blueberry.
Zap! First-grade art class. It was storming outside. Mr. Reithmiller, our art teacher, was showing us how to draw an owl.

Lemon.
Zap! Six-years old sitting in the hot attic of a church in Martins Ferry during Sunday School. I was painting a picture of a sun and clouds. Ironically, no gods or angels.

Then I started thinking about all those other good, bad and ugly aromas that you come across every now and again that gives you a Chuck Norris round-house kick to the amygdala.

Mildew mixed with mothballs.
Zap! Playing tag with my brother and exploring the old, dusty antiques and tools in my Grandma Eimer’s basement in Shadyside, Ohio circa 70’s.

Sweet & sour odor of the recycling canister.
Zap! My high school senior year doing community service at a recycling center in Martins Ferry.  I got busted destroying a nativity scene in our downtown park. That terrible smell singed on my nostrils is a life-sentence memory of my regrettable crime.

Mud, grass, fresh rain, and spring flowers.
Zap! An Easter of my youth—dressed up in my Sunday best dragging a huge Easter basket filled complete with a chocolate rabbit with yellow googly edible eyes.

Fresh-cut grass.
Zap! Football Friday Night circa 1984. I’m preparing to head down to the Ferry football field with my mom to hang out with the McSwords twins, watch the football game—as well as my brother, who was in the high school marching band.

Body odor. Mildew. Fresh Paint.
Zap! Walking into the locker room under the bleachers of Martins Ferry Stadium after two-a-day practices in eighth grade—the first time I ever wore pads to play football.

Dead skunk on the road.
Zap! Heading home from Cedar Point in the dead of night with my family when I was 8 or 9 years old. I was sleeping in backseat and my dad hit a skunk. That smell remained for the rest of the car ride home. It also brings back those not-to-distant memories of a good bag of sticky, stinky college weed.

Most of my memories revert me back to my youth, but there’s always one distinct smell that reminds me of my college years and beyond.

Women’s Perfume.
Every fragrance of perfume is unique—as is every woman I’ve dated. I don’t know the fragrances. I don’t know the brand names. But, I know that distinct smell. And if I catch that certain pleasant aroma as I pass a random female on the street …

Zap! I’m immediately transported back to that particular girlfriend who wore that distinct perfume. They’re all pleasant, positive memories. Just, regular, everyday memories, like sitting in the car, or waking up in the morning, or just hanging in their apartment listening to music and drinking some frosty beverages.

Which brings me to my final story.

I was at some random house using some random bathroom when I came across a canister of Glade Jubilant Rose® & Lavender & Peach Blossom. Curious, I grabbed the can and sprayed a tiny mist into the air. After a brief millisecond, I inhaled.

Zap! I was catapulted back more than 20 years ago to The Gentleman’s Club Strip Club in Cleveland. The same, exact aroma was emanating off a stripper who was giving my good buddy a lap dance. 

I had turned down this particular stripper because she looked too much like my aunt.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Eimer's Must-See Summer 2017 Movie Picks

 

Summer is only one month and a handful of days away (Who's counting?). But, let's be serious, thanks to George Lucas's shrewd marketing move back in 1977, the summer season truly begins in May!

To celebrate the warmer weather and skin cancer prevention, below are my top picks for guaranteed summer greatness in the theater. Movies that you should never watch on the small screen, but truly need to savor, away from the sun, hunkered down in a La-Z-Boy chair staring at the silver screen. (Is it technically silver anymore since it's digital?)

Sadly, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 will not be on this list. Check out my review on OneSentenceMovieReview via Twitter to find out why!

The Wall (May 12)
Doug Liman (Go!, Edge of Tomorrow, Swingers) points his lens towards two soldiers (one of which is John Cena) facing an Iraqi sniper.

Alien: Convenant (May 19)
Looking forward to the sci-fi carnage. My kids are too, but I probably won't take them.

Baywatch (May 25)
Guilty Pleasure Alert! This new movie by comedy director Seth Gordon looks pretty funny.

Despicable Me 3 (June 30)
Selfishly, this one isn't for the kids. This third Gru outing - with an 80's villian voiced by Trey Parker - is for me and the kids can come to see it if they want.

The Big Sick (June 23)
Silicon Valley's Jumail Nanjiani and Director Michael Showalter (Stella, Hello My Name is Doris) team up for a girlfriend in a coma comedy.

The Beguiled (June 23)
Another Sophia Coppola movie? Sign me up. A remake of the '71 Clint Eastwood classic? Sign me up again.

Baby Driver (June 28)
Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim) writes and directs what looks to be a funnier psuedo-remake of Walter Hill's 1978 thriller The Driver.

A Ghost Story (July 7)
Not your typical summer fare, I really don't know what to make of this somber, eerie film from Pete's Dragon director David Lowery. But after viewing the trailer, my interest was piqued.

It Comes At Night (July 9)
Death comes knocking in director Trey Edward Shults' horror thriller starring Joel Edgerton (The Gift, Loving).

War For The Planet of The Apes (July 14)
After enjoying both previous Apes films, this third outing looks to close the book what I hope will be the most consistently solid trilogy since Nolan's Batman series.

Dunkirk (July 21)
A war movie from legendary director Christopher Nolan (Insomnia, Dark Knight, Interstellar)? Put it this way, I already checked to buy pre-sale tickets on Fandango. (Not available, yet).

Yep. No Spider-Man. No Wonder Woman. No Valerian And the City of a Thousand Planets. No Cars 3. And definitely No Transformers.

So, tell me, dear reader, what movies are your looking forward to seeing this summer?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Eimer's Oscar Results: 14 - 10

Well, the Oscars came and went. And I finished a poor 14-10. Just goes to show that you never know what's going to happen in the Super Bowl of Movies.

Here are the ones I lost (with the stupid movie that I picked):

Best picture - LOST! La La Land
Lead actor - LOST! Denzel Washington, “Fences”
Lead actress - LOST! Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Supporting actor - LOST! Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
Best documentary short subject - LOST! “Watani: My Homeland” 
Best live action short film - LOST! “Silent Nights"
Film editing - LOST! “La La Land” Tom Cross
Sound editing: LOST! - “Hacksaw Ridge"
Sound mixing: LOST! “La La Land”
Costume design - LOST! “Jackie,” Madeline Fontain

And here are the ones that I won! Yay me!
Supporting actress - WON! Viola Davis, “Fences”
Best director - WON! “La La Land,” Damien Chazelle
Animated feature - WON! “Zootopia” 
Animated short - WON! - “Piper” 
Adapted screenplay: - WON! “Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins
Original screenplay - WON! “Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan
Cinematography - WON! “La La Land,” Linus Sandgren
Best documentary feature - WON! “O.J.: Made in America.” 
Best foreign language film - WON! “The Salesman,” Iran
Production design WON! “La La Land”
Original score - WON! “La La Land,” Justin Hurwitz
Original song: - WON! “City of Stars,” “La La Land”
Makeup and hair - WON! “Suicide Squad,”
Visual effects - WON! - “The Jungle Book”