REVIEW: “HOW IT ENDS” (2021) SXSW Online Film Festival

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Shot entirely during the pandemic, “HOW IT ENDS” takes on a delightfully quirky look of a one young woman’s journey of her last day on earth. While it was a bit chilling to note was how the streets of LA were essentially a ghost town, it definitely ended up playing in the movie’s favour. Being that the movie was very minimalistic due to pandemic restrictions, directors Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein use this to their advantage as it aptly adds to the general aesthetic of the idea that it’s all about to end.  

With the jist of the story being that an armageddon-type meteor is speeding towards a collision course with Earth and will extinguish all life as we know it. Liza (Zoe Lister-Jones), and her younger metaphysical version of herself (Cailee Spaeny), charmingly referred to as “YS,” take to the streets of Los Angeles on a journey to find one last party and instead find themselves on a journey of self-discovery as well. Initially, Liza has no interest whatsoever in attending this party and just wants to hang out by herself and get stoned, eat a pile of pancakes, drink some wine and let it all go. Liza’s only problem is well, Young Liza, who pressures her(self) to attend the Apocalypse Party being thrown by Mandy (Whitney Cummings).

How It Ends’ is an interesting and hilarious concept. Some of what makes this film so charming is the realization that until she set out on this journey, no one could see or knew about her ‘YS’, or so she thought. Running into an eclectic cast of characters along the way is all part of the fun and delight here. From a reconciliation with her mom (Helen Hunt), or realizing she wants to tell her ex-boyfriend Nate (Logan Marshall Green), that she really does love him — to hashing out a long overdue grudge with her friend Ali (Olivia Wilde), or stopping by her dad’s (Bradley Whitford), it’s all in a days work when it’s the last day on earth. By using characters and having a metaphysical younger version of themselves works hugely in the film stories favour as it turns out they meet others with the same along the way, only adds to the delight.

While Lister-Jones might be doing triple duty here as a writer/director and lead of the film, its truly Cailee Spaeny that carries us up and off, elevating the entire movie and delivering an impressive performance that I just couldn’t take my eyes off. Truly they are brilliant together, forming an aura of pure enjoyment and putting a smile on every viewers’ face. Keep an eye out for the standout cameos as well as so you don’t miss the appearances by: Finn Wolfhard, Logan Marshall-Green, Fred Armisen, Bradley Whitford, Sharon Van Etten, Olivia Wilde, Lamorne Morris, Helen Hunt, and Colin Hanks.

Honestly, if it ever comes down to the time where all life is about to end, and earth itself is about to cease to exist… you realize you’re left with nothing but yourself, and all the unfinished business you’ll need to deal with so you can die in peace. Doing something that you might regret later is an inevitability of life, but making amends with it shouldn’t be left to an extreme chance or to the very last moment when everything is about to end… and this is a message I can get behind.

Grade: B

@pegsatthemovies

Review screening : Courtesy of 42 West PR and SXSW Film Festival

Golden Globes: Part 2 ~ My 2014 TV picks for the winners

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golden globes tv 2

I did my film picks yesterday, so these are my TV picks and they are just that..MY PICKS! 😀 This is my favourite award show as it’s both Film & TV..I mean how can you go wrong with the best of both genres drinking it up at one awards show with Tina Fey & Amy Pohler hosting. Well the answer is you can’t. You might agree or even better, you might disagree ~ it’s all good. I’m afraid I’ve missed some of the net-only shows as I truly hate watching things on a laptop when I have a comfy couch & nice TV to watch on..ahhh well.. Still..I will warn you, I did pretty well last year with my picks and this year I think I’m going to do even better. So with that..I give you #peggyatthemovies 2014 Golden Globe TV picks! Cheers!

BEST DRAMA SERIES:
“The Affair”
Liked this show a lot. It’s a completely unique drama that shows 2 sides of the coin so to speak. But it also had some slower moving episodes in the beginning that I think made it harder for some to stick with it.

“Downton Abbey”
Well I mean..it’s Downton.. Even though some say it’s lost some of it’s initial charm, I tend to disagree. The 4th season might have been it’s slowest, but they set it up well for Season 5. And can we say Matthew Goode all together now. 😀

“Game of Thrones”WINNER
Ohhhhh Game of Thrones.. how you broke me with this last season. You killed off probably one of the most hated characters ever King Joffrey, and everyone cheered. Except you got one of our favs. Tyrion arrested for his murder and making his brother, Jaime Lannister, a good guy after all. And then dammit in one of the best scenes EVER, you killed Prince Oberyn. All the while Jon Snow & the Night’s Watch are doing there thing. You blew me away. Thank you!

“The Good Wife”
Will Gardner. oh Will Gardner, we miss you. But somehow the pain is lessened a tad bit by Finn Polmar (pssst Matthew Goode AGAIN). This plus fantastic performances by a stellar cast each and every week along with spectacular writing, make this show my 2nd pick.. I won’t be upset if it wins..nope..not at all.

“House of Cards”
I hear nothing but good things about this show. I’m seriously considering getting a Google Chrome stick or Amazon Fire just to be able to watch a show like this on my TV.

BEST COMEDY SERIES: – hard to judge category for me as I’ve not seen many of the shows so not picking a winner here.

“Girls”
Just never grabbed onto this show. Tried it a few times with different seasons, just never liked it all that much.

“Jane the Virgin”
This is the surprise fun show of the season. It’s a breath of fresh air. Cute, fun, appealing and wouldn’t it be fantastic to see the CW win an award as they’ve really come up from being the joke network in the past few years.

“Orange is the New Black”
I’ve only seen one episode.. it was fun, but makes it hard to judge here.

“Silicon Valley”
Haven’t seen it.

“Transparent”
Haven’t seen it.

BEST MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE:
“Fargo”
This series was good, but it was also a complete trip at times. Sometimes I loved it and sometimes I didn’t.

“The Missing”
This was a STARZ series. A channel I’ve never had. *sigh*

“The Normal Heart”
This was an emotional story for sure with top name talent in it. I can’t say I completely loved it though, but I definitely loved parts of it.

“Olive Kitteridge”
Haven’t been able to catch this yet as I get HBO once every few months to do just that. I will soon though.

“True Detective”WINNER
I just don’t think there was a question here of what show wins. This was such a dynamic and different story with characters like we’ve not really seen before. I loved it.

BEST ACTRESS (DRAMA):
Claire Danes – “Homeland
After a slow Season 3, Homeland got off to a bit of a rough start in the first 2 eps. of Season 4. Then it went blew the roof off and went WILD!! And this was in due part to Claire Danes bringing it back ‘home’ so to speak

Viola Davis – “How to Get Away With Murder”
I adore Viola. This show, not so much. After giving it 3 1/2 eps. I just didn’t find it interesting enough to keep watching. I found some of the characters really like-able. Sadly not Viola’s.

Julianna Margulies – “The Good Wife”WINNER
When does Julianna not bring it home on this show. She is fantastic week in week out. Yes, she’s won before..but deservedly so. Give it to her again.. please.

Ruth Wilson – “The Affair”
Loved Ruth in ‘Luther’ and liked her well enough here. Just not enough for a win.

Robin Wright – “House of Cards”
Once again, I haven’t seen this show though I hear she is fantastic in it.

BEST ACTOR (DRAMA):
Clive Owen – “The Knick”
I don’t have Cinemax so I never got to see this show. Clive is a pretty fantastic actor though and I’ve heard he brings it here.

Kevin Spacey – “House of Cards
Big fan of Kevin Spacey – haven’t seen the show.

James Spader – “The Blacklist” WINNER
I’ve adored James Spader for more years than I care to count. As I always say, you’re only as good as your villain and Spader brings it to these types of roles each and every time. ‘Red’ is not a good guy, but you can’t help but want him to come out ahead and that’s thanks to Spader’s performance.

Liev Schreiber – “Ray Donovan”
There were times during the 1st season of this show where I couldn’t decide if I loved it and it was the most brilliant new show or if I hated it and it was the worst new show. Season 2 made the decision for me as they kicked ass. Liev was amazing and I won’t be upset if he wins.

Dominic West – “The Affair”
Dominic West should’ve won for ‘The Wire’ years ago. He’s good here and still sexy as ever, but not my winner.

BEST ACTRESS (COMEDY):
Lena Dunham – “Girls”
I can’t say I like the show nor her character in it which is basically her. Sorry Lena.

Edie Falco – “Nurse Jackie”
Oh how I love Jackie..She’s been a mess, cleaned herself up, well kinda sorta, and all the while is the best nurse we all want if we’re ever in hospital. It’s also the last season so if she wins I won’t be mad.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus – “Veep”
I think Julia is one of the funniest people, but I just never took to much to this role or show. I like it..don’t love it.

Gina Rodriguez – “Jane the Virgin”WINNER
Because I love an underdog and Gina is so damn charming as Jane. This show is so fresh & new and wouldn’t it be nice to have someone new, different and exciting win an award like this on their first time out. Yes. it would be is the answer.

Taylor Schilling – “Orange is the New Black”
Wish I saw more of this show.

BEST ACTOR (COMEDY):
So I’m a fan of all of these actors. But I just haven’t watched enough of any of these shows to make a fair judgement – so I’m not going to. May the best man win.

Don Cheadle – “House of Lies”
Louis C.K – “Louie”
Ricky Gervais – “Derek”
William H. Macy – “Shameless”
Jeffrey Tambor – “Transparent”

BEST ACTRESS (MINI-SERIES OR TV MOVIE):
Maggie Gyllenhaal – “The Honorable Woman”
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get into this show.

Jessica Lange – “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
I remember S1 of this show..so good. Since then, well let’s just say it jumped the shark in Season 2 and never came back. Sorry Jessica..love you, but just can’t call it winner here.

Frances McDormand – “Olive Kitteridge”
Haven’t seen this yet.

Frances O’Connor – “The Missing”
Haven’t seen it.

Allison Tolman – “Fargo”WINNER
Allison was just fantastic in this show. Never had seen her before and within 2 eps I wanted to see more. And I can only hope she gets many more roles like this one.

BEST ACTOR (MINI-SERIES OR TV MOVIE):
Martin Freeman – “Fargo”
I’ve adored Martin Freeman since he played ‘Tim’ in the original version of “The Office”. Since then he’s been in so much and I’ve pretty much loved it all. And he was so good in this show. But there can be only one winner.

Woody Harrelson – “True Detective”
It’s a really really hard choice to pick between Det. Marty Hart and his partner because without one or the other, this show wouldn’t have been so completely amazing.

Matthew McConaughey – “True Detective” WINNER
Rust Cohle – just saying that should be enough to explain why I pick him as the winner. Mind-boggling performance.

Mark Ruffalo – “The Normal Heart”
Not my fav. character at all. I’m not Ruffalo’s biggest fan and he just didn’t do it for me here.

Billy Bob Thornton – “Fargo”
Billy Bob was pretty creepy good as the villain..at times..But it wasn’t consistent enough for me.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Uzo Aduba – “Orange is the New Black”
Haven’t seen enough of it.

Kathy Bates – “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
I can’t here..just can’t. It made me sad to see Kathy play a head on a platter in the few eps. I saw last season before I just couldn’t watch anymore.

Joanne Froggatt – “Downton Abbey” WINNER
Joanne really sunk her teeth into her character this past season and her storyline was a tough one. Considering all this, she came off very convincing as it’s a different time/era and she pulled it off. I know it will be a surprise and long shot if she wins, but again the underdog in me picks her.

Allison Janney – “Mom”
I’ve tried with this show..but I just don’t find it all that funny. Though Allison looks great and is the best part about it, just not my pick.

Michelle Monaghan – “True Detective”
Such a great show, but when you have two leads such as Woody & Matthew doing magic with their roles, you’ve just really got to step it up.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Matt Bomer – “The Normal Heart”WINNER
For me, Matt Bomer brought it in a big way to this role. He proved that he’s just not a pretty face but can bring it when it comes to hard-core acting performances.

Alan Cumming – “The Good Wife”
Alan is wonderful in this role. It fits him like a glove and I wish I could pick him..so let’s just say I won’t be mad if he wins!

Colin Hanks – “Fargo”
Colin was uhmmm..okay in this role. Just didn’t tie it up for me.

Bill Murray – “Olive Kitteridge”
Didn’t see it, but I know Murray was good..how do I know that? because he’s Bill Murray. end of story.

Jon Voight – “Ray Donovan”
Yeah Jon Voight is pretty damn good here and yeah he will probably win…but I’m sticking with my underdog pick.