Hector and the Search for Happiness | Pegg charmingly melts your heart


– Please remain in your seat until flight comes to a complete stop..

Bless me Father, for I have sinned.  My last blog post was 464 days ago.  Since my last post, there has honestly been several movies worth the key strokes.  Alas, the lazy virus took the best of me.  Luckily, I had a 24-hour energy boaster drink that allowed me to write these words..

Psychiatrist Hector (Simon Pegg) finally sees the bore that is his life.  He abruptly decides to leave his perfect girlfriend Clara (Rosamund Pike) to go on a global journey in search of happiness.  Thus unfolds the adventure of a life time.

As expected, you will experience Pegg’s amazing comedy.  But, you will be surprised by his skills as an actor.  His ability to transfer his scene’s emotions to you are just unbelievable.

Adding to Pegg’s performance; you are treated with a great soundtrack, artistic use of Hector’s travel journal, and the great cameo performances (including Jean Reno, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard, and Toni Collette).  Hopefully, this will be enough to entice you to add this to the must see list.  Because by the time you reach the credits, you will be filled with a warm light.

Title: Hector and the Search for Happiness

Genre:  Adventure Comedy Drama

Rating:  R

Length:  114 minutes

Year Released:  2014

Viewed Through:  Netflix Streaming


The Shipping News | Spacey and Hallström doing it right

Yup, rocks and house is all I need!  photo courtesy by

Yup, rocks and house is all I need! photo courtesy by www.theguardian.com

Jesus h christ, how in the hell did I miss The Shipping News movie? Let me add, how did the world miss this movie? The movie had a reported box office of $11.4 million (RottenTomatoes.com) while the budget was $35 million (IMDB.com).

I was 22 when it was released on January 2002. Lets just say I wasn’t the most productive person, but I always made room for movies. You must choose wisely for tickets are expensive for the movie theater. So, my time was prob taken by the following movies:

  • Ocean’s Eleven
  • The Royal Tenenbaums
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • A Beautiful Mind
  • Black Hawk Down
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

On top of the competition; The Shipping News had bad reviews from The Rolling Stone, US Today, New York Times, etc (currently 55% on RottenTomatoes.com). Now we know why this one fell through the cracks. Why did it take till March 2014 to finally see this movie?

Well, this little video streaming site Netflix calculated that I would give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. After some investigating, I found that Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale) directed an incredible star studded cast (Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett). Play button goes click.

The very timid Quoyle (Kevin Spacey) loses the horrible wife/parents. To make a fresh start, Quoyle decides to accompany his aunt to their ancestral home in Newfoundland. He just has no idea how much his life will change.

Hallström beautifuly directs the superb Kevin Spacey on the portrayal of a man overcoming many challenging situations throughout his life. Laced throughout the story, supporting characters slowly surface their own pain. No matter how hard it gets, you can see Hallström’s rainbow in the distance. You just got to keep on truckin’

P.S.  I think Julianne Moore was too sexy for her role.

Title:  The Shipping News

Genre:  Drama Romance

Rating:  R

Length:  111 minutes

Year Released:  2002

Viewed Through:  Netflix Streaming

“You speak in Michael Bolton lyrics.” -A Bag of Hammers

Why are you staring at me?  Photo courtesy of schedule.sxsw.com.

Why are you staring at me? Photo courtesy of schedule.sxsw.com.

Like the warmth of a fire fueled by Hugh Grant’s About a Boy and being poked to life by hipsters.

Lately, I have seen great movies that are actually the director’s first feature film.  How does one accomplish perfection on the first try?  Sure practice and education always helps, but your first at bat in the majors should be a lesson.  In the end, you have to be fortunate to have a great team.  Each member must rise to the occasion.  Brian Crano (director and co-writer) had a great team making A Bag of Hammers.

Ben (Jason Ritter) and Alan (Jake Sandvig) are witty blood brothers (no relation).  You could live your entire life and never see a bromance this strong.  They live a stress free life funded by tag team cons.    Their life takes a unexpected turn when resilient kid Kelsey (Chandler Canterbury) and his frustrated mother Lynette (Carrie Preston) move into their front yard rental.

Close your eyes and imagine just finishing a crappy day.  You lag home eager to _____.  Having trouble filling in the blank, how about cracking open a beer and smoking a cig on the front steps…eating a slice of warm apple pie…or smothering yourself with family.  Now, hold that feeling of spreading relaxation.  This movies repeatedly recreates that feeling.

NOTE:  Every movie should row deleted scenes during the credits.  This added a sweet touch.

Title:  A Bag of Hammers

Genre:  Comedy Drama

Rating:  NR (but I would say PG-13)

Length: 85 mins

Release Date:  2011

Viewed: Netflix Streaming


Netflix Streaming Gems – Last Ride

Jesus, that person is standing on water.  Photo courtesy of mubi.com.

Jesus, that person is standing on water. Photo courtesy of mubi.com.

like watching a crack addicted version of Ed O’Neill’s Dutch.

29 December 2012, I drove from Tampa FL to my home in Apex NC.  I was able to complete the trip in 10 hours starting from 7 AM and finishing at 5 PM ET.  I know what you are thinking, “Damn that is fast”.  You’re damn right.  The trip completely exhausted my physically energy.  Plus I left my mother, sister, and two nieces.   Let’s just say, I was tiny sad too.   I decided my relaxation would be to watch the Australian movie Last Ride.  By the end of the movie, I was balancing myself on the edge of falling into the fetal position crying a river.  Of course, I didn’t.  I’m a MAN.   Real men only cry to movies like Last of the Mohicans, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Forrest Gump.  Right?

Last Ride placed my emotional state on 90 minute roller coaster.  Ex-con Kev (Hugo Weaving) is forced to escape with his preteen son Chook (Tom Russell) deep into the bush of Australia.  The short adventure allows Kev to roughly guide Chook through many life lessons.  Unknowingly father saves his son’s life.

Weaving and Russell perfectly complement each other in every scene that dramatically flip from delight to pure pain.  Their chemistry is just darn right perfect.  Everyone remembers Hugo Weaving as cool shades Agent Smith from the Matrix Trilogy, however I will remember him from this performance.  If you want to fill 90 minutes of your life with a drama adventure, check this movie out.

Title:  Last Ride

Genre:  Australian Drama Adventure

Rating:  NR

Length:  98 mins

Release date:  2009

Netflix Streaming Gems – I Love You Phillip Morris

You don’t look so good bro.

like the Farrelly brothers tossed a fresh Leonardo Decaprio’s Catch Me If you Can salad with Heath Ledger’s Brokeback Mountain sprinkled on top.

Can you remember the first time you experienced Jim Carrey? For me, Once Bitten where he plays a virgin high school student being stalked by a milf vampire. I warn you now, do not waste your time on this 80’s disco vampire movie. Who would have thought that Carrey would become one of the top actors of our generation? Hmmmmm nada. Until Let me show you something, Fire Marshall Bill was introduced on In Living Color.  A superstar is born!  Fast forward to 2009 after completing 20 featured films 9 of which are a must see, I Love You Phillip Morris is released, That’s a spicy meatball.

What would you do for happiness? Steven Russell (Jim Carrey) would pour oil on a grocery store aisle and create a law suit classic Carrey fall. Russell grows up seeing wieners in the clouds while learning a life changing truth of being adopted. He evolves into a relentless charming liar who falls in love with the sweetest man in the world Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). The movie feels as if you are a racing rally car with Jim Carrey behind the wheel hugging effortlessly around a sharp corners of cons while Ewan McGregor sits faithfully in the passenger seat.  You will consistently laugh for the entire ride while sensing a dreadful cliff ahead.

You guessed it, I’m a Jim Carrey fan.   But don’t let my Bias detour you in another direction, so put this movie on your queue and relive why Jim Carrey is the man. Can you dig it?  If not, JERK OFF.

Title: I Love You Phillip Morris

Genre: Comedy Drama Romance

Rating: R

Length: ~0.071 day

Release Date: 2009