SergeantNo other major event or era has as many films set during its period of time than World War II. Whether they be the heroic, victorious tales that were common from the ’40s until the ’70s or the gritty, morality-focused stories of survival from the ’80s and on, there will always be an audience for American films about WWII, and thus they will never cease to be made. Lately, though, there has been a noticeable lack of large-scale, brash and loud films that showcase how the battlefield shapes soldiers’ personalities and psychologies. Saving Private Ryan is the most noteworthy of these, and Letters from Iwo Jima is arguably the most recent.

In steps Fury, a tank film directed by David Ayer, known for his work on crime films like Training Day and End of Watch. Given that those films were known for their sharp and visceral portrayals of Los Angeles street crime by closely following their characters, to see how those techniques would shape the storytelling aspect of a war film taking place inside a tank was the film’s biggest draw for me. While Ayer has certainly crafted an intense and violent film that constantly reinforces the message of “war is hell,” it never goes beyond that and as a result feels frustratingly constrained.

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REVIEW: Gone Girl

MarriageWhat better way is there to kick-start fall and this year’s awards season than a David Fincher date movie? If you ask me, I can’t think of any, but you’re talking to a cinephile who’s single. Anyways…

After hearing good buzz about Gillian Flynn’s thriller novel and out of anticipation for the film adaptation’s release, I read Gone Girl a few months ago and found it to be an cynical and entertaining page-turner about a marriage gone wrong. Sounds like a good match for Fincher, known for tackling cold, dark material in his work on Seven and Netflix’s House of Cards. With him at the helm, Gone Girl turns out to be a sleek, engaging film that never loses its suspense and comes with a healthy dose of nihilism.

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The Simpsons Take Over the Hollywood Bowl: A Conversation

simpsons_600x300Because they loved it so much last time, Andrew and Jason will be sharing one of their email conversations. This time they’ll be discussing the recent Simpsons takeover at the Hollywood Bowl. Let’s pass it to Andrew and get this puppy started.

Andrew: This has got to be the dumbest idea we’ve had. We just finished our stupid TMNT Rankings are we’re going to start another one of these stupid email threads? We need new ideas. But for now… Continue reading

REVIEW: The Equalizer

Denzel GunWatching The Equalizer brought back memories of other, older films that influenced it – movies like Dirty Harry and Death Wish, where characters played by Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson became iconic images of the gritty, vengeance-seeking antihero. That’s not to say that Antoine Fuqua’s latest flick should be held in the same regard as those two, but there’s no denying that it delivers what it promises – unflinching, gratifying violence conducted by an cool-headed, justice-seeking vigilante who’s willing to kill.

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Coffee Milk Stout by Stone Brewing

Stone Coffee Milk Stout


Name: Coffee Milk Stout
Type: Milk Stout
Brewery: Stone (Escondido, CA)
Year: 2014
ABV and/or IBU: 4.20

It’s weird to think of stone for a light beer, much less a stout. While there is GoToIPA, I know them better for their heavy and stronger beers. The Milk Stout has the appearance of something stronger but has a sweet taste and has a light mouth feel. I wish the coffee was more prominent in the smell and taste, but it’s enjoyable as is.


For What Ales Ya 2014

10151819_10203191742987709_291503470294888604_nFor What Ales Ya is a yearly event that occurs in the Inland Empire. It is a beer festival/bottle share that brings together local beer enthusiasts to sample some of each other’s and local breweries’ favorite beers. It’s very much a grassroots effort. MBP attended this year’s event and I wanted to share some thoughts and highlights about the experience. Continue reading