Why You Need to Watch “The Paperboy.”

Have you ever known anyone who puts a mask on and pretends to be someone else just to advance themselves to the next higher opportunity in life? What about, someone who has to hide their deepest darkest secret just to protect everyone around them from harm? Sometimes in life, we won’t stop at any cost to find the truth or want something so badly that we can’t have and other times once we have the desires that we want; we suddenly don’t want it anymore.  Have you ever been in love or infatuated with something or someone to the point where you will never let go? 
When everything is so corrupt and evil in the world, it is hard to stay pure and just because something is pretty and beautiful on the outside does not mean that you should touch it. Something’s are meant to be enjoyed at a distance like the Mona Lisa.
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If any of those things apply to you, then please stop reading this post and watch The Paper Boy on Netflix right this moment.Drop everything and watch it.

The logline states:

“Convinced by a mysterious woman that a death row inmate is innocent, two brothers investigate a case marred by betrayal and deceit.”

If that logline didn’t just blow your mind, then what about this:

Zac Efron and Matthew McConaughey play brothers in this film who tries to solve the case. Nicole Kidman plays, Charlotte, a vulnerable, funny and sexy middle-aged woman who is infatuated with creating silly romances with prison inmates by writing them letters.  John Cusack plays a creepy, slimy, and psychopathic inmate that is the love interest of Charlotte. When Zac Efron’s character, Jack, a young naïve college dropout falls in love with Charlotte, things go awry.

The film takes place in the deep south during the 1960s during the civil rights movements, so race, sexual orientation, and woman’s rights play a prominent theme in the film. I felt that this film was very true to the times and that Zac Efron did not let the likes of Matthew McConaughey and Nicole Kidman overpower his character’s arc throughout the film. John Cusack also played a role that I had never seen before, which made me feel very uncomfortable. I need to give love to David Oyelowo for his portrayal as a black reporter from England, whom we find out that his character is actually from the same region as everyone else but is pretending to be British to get a job as a reporter. My favorite part of this film is how all of the characters look and feel exasperated by the humidity and heat in the south. In almost every scene someone is covered in sweat, giving the film an authentic look which I appreciate very much.

This is an independent film that is thrilling, funny, erotic, and horrifying. I am coming to be a bigger and bigger fan of Nicole Kidman as I rediscover her filmography and this is a film that people absolutely need to watch because she needs to be recognized again as the icon that she once was and will continue to be.

The theme of this film is deception. How far are all of these characters willing to go to get what they want? Do they really want what they set out for? Why do people have to deceive people all the time to only find out that the truth isn’t as appealing as the journey to obtain that mystical truth.  How come the only character that doesn’t deceive people, Jack (Zac Efron), gets hurt the most?

I don’t want to give away any spoilers so please go and watch this film. Comment on my blog below so we can engage in constructive conversation, and I really want to know what you think. The film is on Netflix, and I will be reviewing more independent movies on Netflix that most people dismiss.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

Why You Need To Watch “Band of Robbers.”

This loose modern day re-telling of the novel’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will keep you on your toes and make you laugh hysterically.  I am not really big into goofy comedy movies anymore, and I feel like that ship has sailed in my life, but this film has been the funniest comedy that I have seen in the last three years. It is just ridiculous. 
Personally, I have read the two novels that this film is loosely based on, and if you are a fan of Mark Twain and appreciate his humor then I am giving you the green light to go ahead and watch this film; because it is phenomenal.
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I do have one warning. It was sort of weird in the first 10-15minutes of the film seeing people calling each other Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. But, once I got over that and realized that it was just the filmmakers making light of the situation to add humor to the film, I started to gut-bust laugh all over the floors of my room. 
The logline states:

“Recast as modern day men, Tom Sawyer, and Huck Finn draft their misfit cronies to help find buried treasure the two have sought since boyhood.”

Netflix even says that this film is goofy, quirky, and irreverent. Bravo, Netflix. You got it!

If you like Wes Anderson and Coen Brother’s films, then you will most certainly like this one. You can obviously tell that the Nee Brothers really used the influences of those great American directors to pull off the humor and charm that this film brings.  I am not talking only about the look of the film and the cinematography but the music, the pacing, the rhythm and the irony that the film has that you see in a lot of Wes Anderson and Coen Brother’s films.

So yes, it is also very aesthetically pleasing which most comedies need to start doing because I believe that in this day and age of cinema comedic films those vast shortcuts.

I was very inspired by this film because of the way it made me feel. One thing that you will see in the film is how “youth” is the cure to growing older.  Huck Finn gets out of jail and wants to do right and stay out of trouble, but Tom Sawyer still intends to find Murrell’s treasure. As we grow older as adults, we forget about what drove us when we were younger, and that is why people despise the responsibilities of being older. There are many subcategories of this film’s thematic use of “youth” such as adventure, manipulation, and most importantly: Hopes, Plans, and Dreams.  Tom Sawyer has way too many of those already while Huck Finn doesn’t. That is why they are the perfect balance for one another in a literary and cinematic medium. There have been many reincarnations of these two characters used in storytelling. Some examples are Jules Winfield and Vincent Vega, Tyler Durden and The Narrator, and The Joker and Batman.

My favorite part of this film is Hannibal Burress. The more I see that guy in anything, the funnier he gets. He plays one of Tom and Huck’s friend’s whose part of their heist to rob a pawnshop.

Oh, and yes, Creed Bratton from The Office plays the pawnshop owner.  You can’t really get much better than that.

This film will take you along a youthful experience that provides a lot of laughs through subtly and outraging ridiculous corky humor. It is definitely worth the watch.

You can take my word for it.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

Why You Need to Watch “Mountain Men.”

The word, “perseverance” is what makes this film unique to me and is the reason why I am recommending it. Perseverance is a trait that I do not see anymore with people and their commitment to friendship, love, and relationships.  In this comedy-drama, we experience a loser brother, Toph (Tyler Labine), reconnecting with his estranged hotshot younger brother, Cooper (Chace Crawford) in the small town that they both grew up in through a thrilling survival experience in the mountains.
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The logline states:

“Two estranged brothers who reconnect at their mother’s wedding drive to a family cabin, but the trip turns into an unexpected struggle for survival.”

This film sort of reminds me of The Winter’s Tale, a Shakespearean play that goes from a comedy and turns into a drama after an extreme event. In The Winter’s Tale, a bear comes out of nowhere to eat and kill one of the main characters, which marks the switch from comedy to drama. In this film, the two brothers encounter hardship on the mountain and need to find a way back home by hiking through the woods. While staying at a survival shelter, Coop, the responsible brother, eats a few pot cookies on an accident that were packed by his foolishly loving older brother. Cooper gets way too stoned and walks out of the shelter to take a leak and then proceeds to fall over a steep ledge of the mountain, breaking his leg in the process. Suddenly, the whole tone of the film changes and the two are in deep trouble because now Toph has to make all the big decisions and safely get his brother back down the mountain for medical help.

The two encounter hardship after hardship, and Coop continues to tell his brother to leave him there. But Toph never gave up on his younger brother, no matter how hard the situation was. There was a point in the film where a big snowstorm hit, and Toph gave all those clothes off of his back to keep Coop warm.

What I really enjoyed about this film is how likable Toph was despite being a colossal screw-up. This is because despite how badly ashamed his younger brother is to his family, he still had no hatred or animosity towards him, all he had was love. Toph could have quickly just left his brother on the mountain and let him get eaten by a bear or mountain lion while he got help. Toph never gave up on his brother or his family.

This film’s message is to honor your family. Perseverance.

I really enjoyed Tyler Labine’s performance as Toph. He made me laugh a lot, and he even made me cry. I really hope to see more of him in movies in the future. His performance touched me so much to the point where I felt like he was actually was my friend. I wish I had a friend like Toph.

Friend’s and family don’t abandon each other on the mountain. If this is something that you have forgotten, then watch this film.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

Why You Need To Watch “Pleasantville.”

 Change is a capability that is always within our selves. In this film, “fantasy” is at its absolute best and that is because it is true and relevant to what human beings have been struggling with since the existence of mankind; the trials and tribulation of repression to achieving enlightenment.

First of all, I would like to say that this film is a classic. But, it is not a classic in the sense that The GodfatherForrest Gump, or The Wizard of Ozis.  I am suggesting this film because despite being labeled as a “classic,” not many people that I know have even heard of this film.  I believe that this film will grow and build it’s following in years to come in sort of the same manner that The Shawshank Redemption and The Boondock Saints has. When this film reaches that cultural relevance and longevity 10 years from now, I am going to be proud to say that I endorsed it.

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The logline states:

“It was perfect, pleasant… and boring. But not for long. Two kids are about to give this place a big, colorful shake-up.”

The film stars Tobey Maguire who plays a teenaged boy who is obsessed with a 1950’s television show called Pleasantville, where everything is pleasant. Reese Witherspoon plays his cooler older sister who stirs up trouble throughout the film. The main plot point in the movie happens when the two are magically transported to the 1950’s black and white sit-com world of Pleasantville, playing the two main characters. The two notice how everything is so dull and odd. There are no toilets in the bathroom’s, the basketball team never misses a basket, words in books and firefighters do not know how to put out fires; because there is no such thing as fires in Pleasantville.

Paul Walker plays Skip Martin who goes on a date with Reese Witherspoon’s character Mary Sue. Despite finding him super attractive, she doesn’t want to go out with him because he is plain, dull, and boring. Mary Sue forces him to have sex with her, which changes his outlook on everything that Skip Martin knows. This is the beginning of the theme of “change” in the world of Pleasantville. Suddenly in this black and white world, there is color. With a long chain of events that you will see in this film, people start to act differently because they find the “change” that is within themselves. This is because the people of Pleasantville have found that they are capable of such things.

This is a visually striking film. Once people start to discover themselves in the film, you see many shots of striking black and white images sprinkled in with subtleties of color. The build-up of color in the black and white world was very elegant. It wasn’t sudden and horrific to the viewers, but it was to the characters living in this world. When the characters in the world of Pleasantville begin to turn from black and white to color, the town starts to live in fear, and people become segregated. Everything that the people of the city has been forgotten and tension is created within the community.

People everywhere are afraid of things within themselves that they may or may not be capable of. We are so scared of change in the world and the change that we have in ourselves, and as human beings, we project that fear onto other things that develop ugly social situations. With our presidential election coming up, I believe that this film is a good one to watch that will help you realize what kind of change we want for our country. I say that because you will learn that in this film, personal repression gives rise to political oppression. Politicians represent a false hope to many people, and that is what Pleasantville represents. Authorities want us to live in a black and white world where we follow a certain model on how to live life, but we cant. Everyone needs color in their lives, and that is why the change from black and white to color represents the change in oppression to enlightenment.

If you lack color in your life, then go and watch this film. Human beings have always been afraid of color because it is something that we do not understand, so hence, we live in fear of change. But, that is precisely what we need; color.

All we need is color.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

Why You Need to Watch “Paid In Full.”

Say you grew up in a rough neighborhood, and you tried to stay out of trouble your whole life, but the temptation is all around you. Could you resist that temptation? Imagine, growing up in the 1980s in Harlem and you made 75 dollars a week at a dry cleaner but knew you could make 25 thousand dollars a week by selling a kilogram of cocaine. What would be your breaking point? I bet 95% of you guys reading this would sell the drugs if this were the case in your life.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

If you are into African American culture or if you are interested in it then go and watch this film. My best friend said, “Anyone who is actually in with Black culture has seen this film.” That is why I am about to tell if you know nothing about black culture and if you are completely oblivious and ignorant to it, then you should explore something new and walk in the shoes of these three best friends who take over the drug trade in the streets of Harlem.
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The logline states:

“This fictionalized account of three real-life Harlem drug dealers is told in flashbacks as they plunge into the world of hustling.”

Wood Harris plays Ace, who at the beginning of the film works at a dry cleaner and resists the temptation from his sister’s boyfriend Calvin to join the drug game. Despite his best friends being drug dealers as well, he still resists. After Calvin goes to jail and comes across some free cocaine, he begins to take Calvin’s spot on the streets and slowly with his connections with the Dominican drug cartel through his job at the cleaners. He begins his rise to the top of the streets with his best friends Mitch and Rico becoming the Kingpin.

The reason why I recommend this film is because rather than focusing on the flash and bling of being a drug dealer it emphasizes how greed can overcome trust and friendship. Would you cross your best friend and rob him for money? Also, this film highlights how hard it is to get out of the drug game because of the temptation, pressure, and protecting your reputation on the streets. Wood Harris’ performance in this film neutralizes all of the opulence, temptation, and glory that this type of culture is usually portrayed and brought upon in pop culture. That is an adamant thing to do as an actor because his performance peels all of those layers away and focuses on the main themes of temptation, greed, trust, and friendship; making this film special.

Ace is quite the opposite of most hustlers on the streets. He is quite, lays low and wants to stay out of trouble. He only cares about his soldiers and making his money. He doesn’t care about driving fancy cars, watches, clothes, women, or partying. He is boring, and that is why he is successful.

I felt very empathetic towards all three of the characters. I understand why they choose the life that they did choose and, that is why this film is enjoyable to watch. Most movies about the streets glorify robbing, money, drugs, sex and etc. This film focuses on its major themes and gets you to empathize with people of whom you would not ever give a to chance in real life.

I would also like to point out that the film’s soundtrack is incredibly authentic to the place and time. Films are how I discover music that is old or new. The soundtrack alone should make you go and watch this film. It features Eric B and Rakim, Doug E. Fresh, Phil Collins, Special Ed, Twista, Jay-Z, and even Kanye West. If you love films with great soundtracks, then give this one a chance.

“Hood” is short for the neighborhood. Everyone has their own “hood.” We fear and reject what we don’t understand in life. That shouldn’t be the way we live life. If you want to understand something outside of yourself, then go and watch this film and comment below on what you think.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Beyonce, “I grew up in a very nice house in Houston, went to private school all my life and I’ve never even been to the ‘hood. Not that there’s anything wrong with the ‘hood.’”

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

Why You Need To Watch “White Bird In A Blizzard.”

If someone important to you got up and left you at the doorstep and never came back, how would that affect you emotionally? The worst part about that is, you never knowing why that person left you. Do you want to see why that reason was?  Sometimes it is best to never know because the truth may be the most painful thing in the world.  But, finding closure to it all may be the only cure. A White Bird in a Blizzard expunges on the exact details of the truth behind the theme of abandonment. This film is a hidden gem. It has been on my Netflix list for over 18 months, and I am happy that I gave it a chance because it is phenomenal. This film is an art house dramatic thriller with compelling performances from Eva Green and Shailene Woodley. Moreover, the cinematic theme of abandonment proves to show that physically and emotionally abandoning yourself or your closest relationships can severely damage yourself and others around you; and the only way to overcome that abandonment is to find the truth no matter how hard it is.
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The logline states:

“When 17-year-old Kat Conners’s mom, Ever, vanishes, the teen relishes her newfound freedom – until the reality of her loss sets in.”

In this film, Kat (Shailene Woodley) is a victim of her mother’s (Eva Green) sudden disappearance when she was just only 17 year’s old. This is a film about a young girl finding her mind, body, soul, sexuality, and youth while the mother deals with her own aging and yearning for her youthfulness. The mother, played by Eva Green, was once an attractive, wild, crazy girl, who marries an uneventful man and becomes a domesticated housewife, only to find that she is unfulfilled with everything in her life. Through a series of flashbacks, this film displays the character arch of the mother from a happy young lady to a disgruntled housewife with significant issues. When the film takes place in real time, we see how Kat deals with her mother’s disappearance for three years.

As Kat and Eve grow older together, they begin to reject who they are on the inside and then soon to become estranged from their mother-daughter relationship.

Abandonment represents the core of human fear. If that is something you would like to explore, then go and watch this film. This is because each day, people everywhere get to the point where life has left them on a doorstep or has thrown them away. The central core of this recurring theme in the film is about the loss of love itself and the severe loss of feeling connected with someone, which involves betrayal and loneliness.

Shailene Woodley’s performance is very engaging, and from the opening scene to the ending credits, I was on her side the whole time. She has this great voice that makes her narration of the story very welcoming, giving the film a calm but yet edgy tone. Eva Green stole the show with her performance, making her character relevant by bringing more and more curiosity to the viewer throughout the story in each scene that she appeared in.

This film has a lot of unique twists and turns and is very unpredictable. I guarantee you will be shocked by the ending. You will be taken through an “odyssey” of the human psychological development of dealing and overcoming abandonment.

When you watch this film, you will understand the psychological pain that abandonment brings to human beings.  This film is relatable to anyone because neglect is a universal wound. It makes heartbreak painful and shows why separation causes such anxiety because losing a friend, lover, job causes our self-esteem to go on a downfall. It also causes you to feel unworthy and not being able to belong in anyone’s life, leaving you powerless in your own life. The wounds cut deep, and that is why unresolved abandonment is the primary derivative of self-sabotage.

That is why you absolutely need to watch this film to find out how Kat overcomes her abandonment by finding the truth because the most painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said or explained.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

Why You Need to Watch “Fruitvale Station.”

When you read the newspaper, watch the news or check social media and you see another African American shot and killed by another police officer we see riots, protests social media debates and most importantly lousy reporting by journalists.

This film needs to be seen by everyone who is involved with The Black Lives Matter movement or anyone who is against police brutality. In fact, if you are one of those people who support what our law enforcement stands for then go and watch this film right now because this movie will show you the other side of the spectrum because you will understand why police brutality needs to be correctly served its own justice; once and for all.  Fruitvale Station, mark my words is going to be a very culturally significant film and should represent the main issues of police brutality against all citizens in our country.

Before I get started, I just would like to point out that the directorial work of Ryan Coogler is absolutely astounding. If you enjoyed the movie Creed, then you will most certainly enjoy Fruitvale Station. Ryan Coogler is on pace towards being one of the great filmmakers of our generation.
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The logline states:

“This dramatic rendering of real-life tragedy recounts the final hours of Oscar Grant, shot by San Francisco transit police on New Year’s Day, 2009.”

Based on a true story, the film opens up with cell phone footage of the incident where Oscar Grant was wrongfully shot at Fruitvale Station in the Bay Area. Immediately you are hooked to the film, walking tall in the shoes of Oscar Grant. Then we are taken to the beginning of the day where the story unfolds to the all of the events leading up to his death.

The director, Ryan Coogler said, “ I wanted the audience to get to know this guy, to get attached so that when the situation that happens to him happens, it’s not just like you read it in the paper, you know what I mean? When you know somebody as a human being, you know that life means something.”  That is precisely what this film does. We see Oscar Grant for who he is, a human being. Michael B. Jordan’s performance as Grant is tearfully breathtaking. Through many series of vignettes throughout his final hours, we see that Oscar Grant is a good person who is trying to do right in the world despite his past. He loves his mother, his daughter, his sister, his girlfriend, and doesn’t want to disappoint them anymore. He quits selling drugs and begs for his real job back. He tries saving a dog’s life and helps a woman how to figure out fish frying.

Journalists do not do this for victims. They don’t get you to empathize with the person who got shot. They don’t report on detail about who the person was and what they personally meant to the world. No, they write what will sell them more advertising in the papers or online. Journalists need to do these victims justice. That is all I have to say about that.

This film brings Oscar Grant justice.

All lives mean something.

Police officers have mace, tasers, and handcuffs. Why do we need to resort to shooting people when there are other alternatives to detaining people? Violence is never the answer.

Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler will be the next actor-director one-two punch duo of our generation. I have a strong hunch that they will be in the ranks of De Niro-Scorcese, Cooper- O. Russell and Jackson- Tarantino.

This film reaches out and grabs you to the point where you feel like you are walking in the shoes of Oscar Grant. During the climatic point of the film where he gets shot, you are released from his experience/point of view, and suddenly you are put back into your own shoes experiencing the tragedy from an innocent bystander point of view.

All though Chad Michael Murray had a small role in the film as the BART police officer who shot Oscar Grant, he did a fantastic job with the very little screen time that he had because he portrayed how poorly some police officers are trained in our country. The real-life account of the actual police officer claimed to have “mistaken” his gun for his taser in court. Bull shit. He told the jury that he thought his gun was a taser? Seriously? This police officer only served an 11-month sentence for involuntary manslaughter. That is not the type of justice that victims like Oscar Grant deserve.

This is a compelling film made by an exceptional filmmaker and is the reason why the medium of art will always be so powerful. Watch this film and comment below, letting me know what you think.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo