Trumbo (2015)

No this isn’t about an elephant that can fly… it’s about a blacklisted Hollywood writer in the 40’s. This is an interesting movie to watch today, considering Hollywood is conjuring up their own red scare. I wonder when they made this movie, if they knew they would look foolish just a year later shouting that Russian’s were around every corner? Still, if Communism is your thing, go for it… it’s a free country. I’ll feel free to ignore you as it is your right to ignore me. I thought Trumbo was an interesting character and I loved hearing about the different movies he was involved in. He was both very likable and unlikable at the same time. Bryan Cranston did a great justice for this character with some excellent acting. I was also happy to see a well rounded cast. The movie is pretty long, and sometimes felt that way, but for the most part I found it to be quite enjoyable. I didn’t like the witch hunt that was happening to those writers then and I don’t like them today either. I probably won’t watch this again, but I do have a hankering to watch Sparticus and Roman Holiday.


ReelReelReelReelHalf Reel

For more information on this film,
visit the page:
Trumbo (2015)

Trainwreck (2015)

The movie wasn’t as it was titled, but the movie did derail here and there. Judd Apatow is back with another 2+ hour long rom-com. Amy Schumer does a good job as the lead and her writing wasn’t too bad either (that is if she did all the writing on her own). The cast is full of great stars. I loved seeing Brie Larson, Tilda Swinton, Bill Hader and Ezra Miller. John Cena and LeBron James stole the show and they are just sports stars! Daniel Radcliffe has 2015’s best cameo as the “Dog Walker”. Some of the jokes are really funny and others fall a little flat. This is one of the better Judd Apatow movies I’ve seen lately though after a string of disappointments. The final scene is really cute, even though I didn’t totally feel the chemistry between Hader and Schumer.



For more information on this film,
visit the page:
Trainwreck (2015)

The End of the Tour (2015)

This film doesn’t make you hope for it to end, but it does give you a good tour of what David Foster Wallace was like. This was one of the best roles and performances I’ve seen from Jason Segel. He was funny, sad and brilliant all throughout the movie. Jesse Eisenberg was finally not playing the role of the smartest person in the room and that was really refreshing. I guess I didn’t connect with this movie, because I generally don’t like movies about writers. Sometimes they are good, and this was one of the better ones… but I just really don’t care. I felt like it was a good twenty minutes too long and it hurt the good feelings I was having towards the movie as a result. I do think it had some really great conversations between the leads and it held my attention pretty well. It’s worth watching once I’ll say. After that, you’ll still love Jason Segel and have some better respect for Jesse Eisenberg.



For more information on this film,
visit the page:
The End of the Tour (2015)

Literary Ryan – Red Unearthing

A new Literary Lion story that has to be 400 words, this one is based off the word “Flower”.

The sun high in the sky finally hits the right spot in the rocky red grove.

The sun’s strong light warmed the iridescent petals of the rare flower creating a burst of color that would shame any diamond or opal. As the warmth of the sun’s rays slides over the stem and leaves like a warm blanket, slivers of ice break off like shards of glass. This ice lies on the red dirt like the scene from a break-in.

Tucked in its own hidden area, the flower has remained hidden, enjoying its solitude. A different kind of heat that wasn’t from the sun warmed the area and shook the ground. It’s normally so quiet, nothing to bother the peace of the crimson landscape. What was it? Oh no bother, the sun’s out and the ice is off; it’s time to gather up more of the sun’s nourishing light.

Days passed feeling like leftover food being thawed, being frozen¸ and thawed again. Over and over, but this is all the flower knows. The one strange thing was that different heat that was not from the sun.

Warmth again, the petals open up almost casting a bright glow on the ground. This day wasn’t going to be like the others. Something new and unexpected was in the air.

A crunch echoed across the frozen landscape, a whirring of small segmented treads. Then it appeared. A small white vehicle with NASA painted on the side approached the hidden grove that had guarded the flower for so many years.

A mechanical arm popped out of the top of the machine and moved toward the flower menacingly. Its three spindly, lifeless fingers grasped the flower by the stem and pulled hard.

The flower wasn’t worried though.

Due to its rough living conditions, its roots had grown deep and strong and the mechanical fingers weren’t strong enough to uproot this beautiful specimen.

The flower was not worried.

It had been in this strange and beautiful place for longer than it could remember. It just wondered if there were others like it out there.

But the flower wasn’t worried. Just happy it hadn’t been captured by the strange machine.

Before parting ways, the strange machine flashed a bright light for just a second and then turned around and headed away from that sheltered grove the flower called home. All that remained were lines in the red sand.

©Reel Ryan

Literary Lion

Literary Ryan – Obsidian Correspondence

Generally I just use this website for reviews but I thought a once a week diversion would be okay to try out. Please feel free to comment if you find this distracting or if you love it. I always welcome your thoughts!

I found out from another blogger about this weekly writing exercise called “Literary Lion” where you write a 400 word story based off the current weeks word. I’m posting this a little late but last weeks word was EYE.

Eye hope you enjoy this story titled: Obsidian Correspondence

It all started with that damn eye; just staring back at me, cold and unblinking.

I turned the manila envelope over searching for other clues. There was a ghost of a footprint on the envelope where it looked like maybe a mail carrier had accidently stepped on it. Was it an accident or was this just another clue in a series of puzzles that have been thrown my way since the first pictures started coming to me in the mail?

Blackmail. It only happened once but it was the biggest mistake of my life… and now the wheel of karma has come back around to crush me. That stupid eye on these envelopes, what does it mean?

I needed to take a walk. I grabbed a leather jacket out of the crowded front closet. I can never get these things off their hangers, as I finally finished my wrestling match with the hanger I tossed on the jacket and was out the door.

It’s pouring, but I don’t care. The rain always refreshes me, cleanses me.

The streets were quiet except for a few empty bottles and crumpled up newspapers blowing around in the wind, an old church bell rang in the distance.

The cool droplets hitting my head were helping me think. I do my best thinking in the shower and it looks like with all this rain, I’m getting my second shower today.

Who could have it in for me? Did my wife set this up? No, she’s too nice of a person to do something like this. I’m the bum.

I started looking at my reflection in the front window of a law office that claims that “they will work hard for you if you are injured in an oilfield accident,” when I noticed something that made my hair stand on end.

That eye. That stupid, lidless eye staring at me in the reflection… I whipped around to see a small green door, sorely needing a new paint job. On its window was that eye and underneath it said Alpha Investigations: Private Eye.

Without thinking I grabbed the doorknob and turned it. A long staircase lay before me. At the top of the stairs there was a frosted glass door with a faint light shining through it.

This was it. I’ll finally get to the bottom of this once and for all. I walked forward cautiously.

© Reel Ryan 2015

Literary Lion

Authors Anonymous (2014)

The director should have stayed anonymous. This film started off being lovable enough, and then it just spirals into a very sad place. Kaley Cuoco plays the part of Hannah, she’s never read a book in her life but loves to write. She joins a writing group and then becomes an instant success. Does she learn any kind of lesson, other than everything great just falls into her lap? Nope. It’s hard to watch the other characters struggle, as Cuoco is just little miss perfect. Sure, some good things happen to the other characters like Klein and Polo, but at that point you’ll be just as mad as me, with no plot line big enough to make you feel better. Nothing’s worse than a movie trying to force you to like an unlikable character, and then failing miserably at it.



For more information on this film,
visit the page:

Authors Anonymous (2014)

The Great Beauty (2013)

The Great Beauty was a great disappointment. The opening scene was overly loud and trashy and then just got into some weird territory. It’s not even the fun kind of weird, it’s the long, overdrawn gouge your eyes out with a spork weird. This is also another film to add to my “Movies about writers that I hate” category. Writers love to write movies about being writers. It’s so egocentric and overdone. Very few of them succeed as being entertaining. If you want weird dance parties and crawling Nuns, you found your movie. Otherwise avoid this like you would running headfirst into a brick wall.


Half Reel

For more information on this film,
visit the page:
The Great Beauty (2013)