A Blog Reviewing various interests
in art, science and Social Issues
in art, science and Social Issues
The hard-hitting comedic punch of Melissa McCarthy and Paul Feig is brilliantly show-cased in their latest film, “Spy.” Once again director and writer Paul Feig creates a masterful backdrop to display McCarthy’s delightful improvisational talents. A top-billing she deserves and should have earned after her Oscar-nominated role in “Bridesmaids.”
The fun doesn’t end with McCarthy. The supporting cast of Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Allison Janney and Miranda Hart make “Spy” a well-rounded farce.
Feig’s setting for “Spy” is a tongue in cheek acknowledgement to 007. McCarthy plays CIA desk-jockey, Susan Cooper. A bright, cyber tactician who graduated at the top of her class; unfortunately, her docile demeanor has sabotaged her ability to get any “real-world” assignments. Even though on the field Cooper happens to be lethal, just ask her last instructor. The video clip of her graduating obstacle test is stomach wrenchingly funny and disturbing. With the cautionary blessing of her boss, played by Allison Janney, Cooper ventures onto her first mission to thwart the sale of a nuclear bomb.
In her way is Statham’s character who tries to sabotage her attempts to get intel and stop the sale. Statham plays a disheartened CIA spy who doesn’t believe Cooper is capable of completing her mission. Many times Statham steals the scene with his rantings and ravings as the toughest spy while he follows McCarthy throughout Europe.
Rose Byrne as the arms dealer and femme fatale, Raina Boyanov becomes the bunt of many hilarious improvisational jokes when she meets and befriends McCarthy. Byrne’s eccentric hairstyles and McCarthy’s grim wigs almost take on their own persona in many scenes. Yet it doesn’t stop Bryne or McCarthy from delivering delicious zingers at each other.
“Spy” has a great cast and script that allows the masterful improv, McCarthy, to shine throughout the film. She gracefully plays the straight man to let her supporting cast sparkle. This role shows her evolving as an actress and developing as a multi-faceted comedian. “Spy” is definitely another notch in McCarthy’s comedic black belt.
Spy (2015) film review by benMUSA
Starring Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Allison Janney and Miranda Hart.
#MELISSA MCCARTHY #JUDE LAW #ROSE BYRNE #JASON STATHAM #ALLISON JANNEY #MIRANDA HART #SPY #SPOOFS #PAUL FEIG #COMEDY #SLAPSTICK #FOUL HUMOUR
My mind still lingers on Dr. Maya Angelou's passing. With every tear, I glimpse into her past. The grief pushes me back into my youth. When I was trying to find my own voice, my own identity. Without her eloquence, my awareness would have been buried deep in the shadows of my fears.
Dr. Angelou taught me how brave James Baldwin fought for equality. She taught me how honest Malcolm X struggled for acceptance. These were her friends. They helped her find those precious words that still flow deeply in the pit of my soul. Her voice made me realize I was part of something far greater then this linear world. That it just takes one compassionate soul to change humanity’s perception and attitude.
The classic story of Sleeping Beauty has been told for decades. The tale was never about Princess Aurora. This retelling shows a different perspective. How the faerie sorcerous, Maleficent, rose to power. That she wasn’t all we perceive, but someone who made regrettable decisions. Instead of hiding and embracing all the darkness that enveloped her, Maleficent rose to embrace a path of compassion.
The viewer sees the wonder of Maleficent’s world - the Moors. Where pixies, tree soldiers, and other faerie folk live together protecting the Moors from the intrusion of man’s kingdom beyond their home. The film sets a serious, elegantly rendered tone from the beginning. Showing how Maleficent has grown alone in her world. Both parents died at a young age. She has grown independent and strong in her abilities. Becoming the natural leader of the Moors, but that suddenly changes when she meets a young human, Stefan. Their growing relationship and failings creates the story of Sleeping Beauty. The anguish of Maleficent’s relationship is the center, the focal point of this film.
No one else could possibly create empathy in such a dark character then Angelina Jolie. She embodies Maleficent, balancing that fine line of cruelty and compassion. Her smile freezes the whole theatre screen with a delicate, sultry pain. You understand how the betrayal of her first love invokes a deep anger. Jolie shows us even in the pain of such betrayal, everyone has the ability to see the goodness of others. To remind ourselves hope never fades completely.
Reviewed by benMUSA
#ANGELINA JOLIE #MALEFICENT #DISNEY #FILM #REVIEW #SLEEPING BEAUTY #PIXIES #FAERIE #FANTASY
Attack on Titan draws on the darkest parts of humanity. In this hopelessness, the viewer is compelled to look even deeper with each character as they are beautifully revealed. Attack on Titan is not a simple story or an answer to humanity’s failings. It is a destructive and horrific tale that harshly reveals society’s perverse gluttonous consumption of all that it holds so dearly.
Set in an alternate universe in the year 845, humanity is on the brink of extinction. Giants, some 15 meters tall, suddenly appear everywhere and began to devour all humans. There is no reason for these Titans’ unending hunger, nor an understanding of their ability to continuously regenerate. Only a spot on the nape of the neck seems to be the weak point of these marauding, sexless killers. With a hardened skin that is difficult to penetrate, the Titans seem unstoppable. So humanity retreats to a mega city comprised of 3 circular 50 meter walls that protect different social classes: Wall Maria, Wall Rose and the innermost Wall Sina.
After 100 years of peace within the confines of the mega city, the series introduces young Eren Yeager who lives behind the outer most wall – Maria. With his adopted sister, Eren witnesses a colossal Titan that towers over Wall Maria. With one kick the Titan punches a hole through the wall that protects his village. Waves of Titans move through his village consuming any human in their path. Just barely escaping and witnessing close ones devoured, Eren swears to kill every Titan. He joins the military who have developed a means to combat the Titans - the Vertical Maneuvering Equipment (VME). Weaponry using a strap-on high velocity pull system that is attached to titanium blades. A trigger on the handles activates the pulley system. Using the VME greatly taxes the muscles and ligaments and only an elite group can truly master fighting from a three – dimensional perspective.
From the first episode, you empathize with Eren’s frustrations. He feels the limitations the walls placed on humanity. He yearns to travel and join the Military’s Scout division. To find answers to why the Titans exist and why they left humanity alone for so long. After the destruction of his village, Eren’s questions take root in the series’ central plot. With each decision and revelation, the plot thickens and dips into murder, mystery, thriller and political intrigue.
Attack on Titan leaves you frustrated and disillusioned with the weight of Eren’s duty to protect humanity. You feel his anxiousness and fear of the unknown. At times you are terrified that any moment humanity could be wiped out. With the passionate soundtrack by Hiroyuki Sawano, the intense action scenes are greatly amplified and truly showcase the wonderful animation by Wit Studio and Production I.G. “Attack of Titan” is a superb and stimulating anime series. Like the VME – it reveals multi-dimensions of humanity’s darkest sins and enlightened hopes.
Reviewed by benMUSA
#DARK #FANTASY #TRAGEDY #ADULT THEMES #VIOLENT #DYSTOPIAN #STEAMPUNK #VICTORIAN #ANIME #SERIES #ATTACK ON TITAN #SHINGEKI NO KYOJIN #HAJIME ISAYAMA #SHŌNEN #TETSURŌ ARAKI #YASUKO KOBAYASHI #HIROYUKI SAWANO #WIT STUDIO #PRODUCTION I.G #REVIEW
The second part to “The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug" is a riveting film. This film is a definite must see in 3D at high film rate (48 per second compared to 24).
Tolkien’s book is a lightweight compared to the Lord of the Ring series he created. Director Peter Jackson is able to delve into Tolkien’s Middle Earth using the extensive appendices Tolkien wrote for “Return of the King.”
Hobit 2 has a heaviness about it - like a brooding, tensive animal. Your eye is only momentarily drawn to the vast CGI detail that expands the universe we were introduced in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. At the moment when you feel that fantastical wonder of Middle Earth, you are whipped back into the action that almost makes you feel you are part of the story.
Peter Jackson does take liberties introducing a female character into a story that only had male leads. But this is not a heavy handed approach. The female character, Tauriel, is the moral compass. Although purists would argue it's unnecessary, I would disagree. Tauriel draws out the Elvish culture in finer detail. Although they are a powerful and enlightened race, they are not immune to the petty problems every society deals with such as selfishness, a sense of entitlement and even a caste system.
"The Desolation of Smaug" answers many questions for this fan. It helps embellish and enhance the story of the One Ring and what became of the Necromancer - the Dark Lord Sauron.
Reviewed by benMUSA
#the hobbit#lord of the rings#tolkien#peter jackson#review
What Clients Are Saying
I bought one of benMUSA’s original pieces. Fell in love with it in the catalog, and absolutely adored it when it arrived. It’s one of the most amazingly beautiful original pieces I’ve ever seen. The photograph does NOT do it justice. It’s opulent. It’s brilliant. It’s got depth like few artists are able to convey. ...and it’s all mine! I love it. That’s the art. With respect to the business, the purchase was straight forward and simple. I got the piece within a few days, and have been utterly satisfied with it as well as it’s presentation. High quality, professional art from an extremely talented artist! Will be buying more!
benMUSA is available for private commissioned work or consultations for any residential or commercial projects! All major credit cards are accepted.