Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time or Why I Hated Reading as a Kid

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Thank you, A Wrinkle in Time, for reminding me what it was about kid books that made me hate them.
1. Nonsensical Magic.
My sister hates this worse than I do, but I hate it. "I think I'll be a bird now." No. Not allowed!

2. Appealing to Kids.
"Hey Phil, kids like magic. Right?" "Yeah, Mary. Kids love magic." "Cool. Okay. I'm gonna throw in a lot of stuff kids like." Kids like magic. Everyone likes magic. But kids also like stuff that doesn't suck.

3. Are you saying A Wrinkle in Time sucks?
I'm saying it was a big, boring, chunk of time-wasting fluff. It was pretty fluff. Sometimes the fluff made me ugly-cry. I liked all the, "My gift to you is your faults," or whatever stuff that was a big theme throughout the movie. I liked that a lot. Like The Greatest Showman, having confidence in being deserving of love right now, as you are, is a fantastic theme! But the rest of the blah-blah-blah... no.
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4. It boils down to CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.
Do you care about the characters?
Some of them.
Were you worried about them?
No. Because the situations they kept getting themselves into were RIDICULOUS!
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Suddenly they're in a forest and suddenly some wave of NOTHING is chasing them! OH NO! RUN FROM THE CONVENIENT OBSTACLE!

To be fair, I spent a good chunk of the movie with my 5 year old in the bathroom. He kept saying he had to go, and he had been sick the day before, so I didn't want to chance it. But he also says he has to go to the bathroom when he's bored with a movie, or scared. I could hardly blame him for being either.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

TV Show: When Calls the Heart

Let's take a break from movies, and talk about TV, specifically, Hallmark Channel's (I watched it on Netflix and Season 5 on Vudu,) WHEN CALLS THE HEART.

Image result for when calls the heartIt's based off a book or something. They call it the North West, the frontier, and there are Mounties, so we're thinking, Canada. Right? Well, their Christmas parade had American flags, so....  I know little about Canada's history, but unless their flag was once a whole heck-of-a-lot like ours... someone got confused.

Apart from that, the show is refreshingly conservative. It's not that I'm anti-liberal TV shows, but this one is clean, and easy. It doesn't challenge anything, and I'm sorry, it's kind of nice. I ENJOY A GOOD CHALLENGE, but this show let's absolutely every other show do that, while it just hangs back and chills.

That being said, every single character is either the best person ever, or the worst. There are a few characters who are grey. THANK YOU BILL!

SPOILERS: I spent the first five seasons wanting to Jack and Elizabeth to get together, and when they finally did I wanted to punch them in the face. They're so obnoxious now! Also, when Cody showed up, uh-uh. No. Hated Cody! But once he was there for a while and stopped WHINING ALL THE TIME he became okay. I even worried about him when he got sick.

Image result for when calls the heartSecond spoiler: Yeah. It's a bit predictable. Doug showed up and I told myself, (because I watch it alone, or with my babies,) he's gonna die. Low and behold.... he did. BUT I can't knock a show for being predictable, because... everything's predictable.

CONSENSUS: Yes. It's cheesy and it only gets cheesier. Yes, it gets formulaic, (everything does.) Someone leaves town. Someone goes to get them. They change their mind about being grumpy and everything is happy. But it's easy. It's light. I don't have to worry about anything. Sex doesn't even exist and the worst someone does is steal and shoot because they want to keep stealing. So here is a list of my favorite characters, in no particular order:

Lee Coulter (far right)
Image result for when calls the heartRosemary (far left)
Bill (dated Becky from Full House/next to Lee)
Abigail (Becky from Full House)
Tom Thornton (not pictured)
Reverent what's his name (the second reverent who dated Becky from Full House/next to Rosemary)
Opal (not pictured)
Philip (above pictured)
Mayor Jerk-Face (I can't believe I'm blanking on these names. Oh well. It's not like I could take the time to look them up or something!/not pictured)
Charles (poor Charles/not pictured)
Faith (nurse/not pictured)
Carson (doctor/not pictured)
AJ (outlaw lady/not pictured)
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And here are characters that bother me:
Early Cody

Usually, I like our leads, but they're getting on my nerves with all their cheese!

So I suggest you watch it!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Greatest Showman

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Con The First: All the songs, I AM SORRY, sound exactly the same, and I GOT SICK OF THEM. (That last part was capitalized because I had to yell over all the shouting at me.) Also, all the choreography was jumping, often cheesy, and uninteresting, except for the acrobat song where Zendaya and Effron were floating around, which was awesome... but also absurd and ridiculous... and, again, cheesy.

Image result for the greatest showmanCon The Next:
Jenny Lind... ahem.
Jenny Lind, like most people in this movie, was a real person. She was, in fact, a Swedish opera star. During the film she is described as "the greatest opera singer in Europe," or something. Then we finally get to hear her sing, and... wait... that's not opera. She's not an opera singer. Let me put this into context for those of you who happen to not be music snobs. Calling something opera that isn't opera... It'd be like if they described a dancer as a ballerina, then when she danced she danced a ho-down. It's all dancing, but there's a WORLD OF DIFFERENCE. 
Now, I get why they didn't have her sing opera. Trust me. I get it. But don't just shovel pop at us and call it opera! Have it be like a dream, where she's obviously singing opera, but what we - through the view of Barnum - hear is the poppy song. OR just describe her as "the greatest singer in Europe," and leave the "opera" part out! As long as we're taking liberties! It's a MUSICAL! We're not going for realism, but do we have to LIE? Oy. In the great words of somebody somewhere, "If you bring a cannon on stage, you have to shoot it." The word "opera" is a cannon. Handle with care.

Third Con:
The subplot was more interesting than the plot. Is that a con? Yep. I just checked.

Most Objectionable Con Even More So Than The Opera Thing:
Image result for the greatest showmanBarnum refused to admit his circus friends into the "opera" concert after party. They're so cheesed-off they sing my favorite song about it. (I don't remember how it goes, but it sounds like all the others except sung by the Bearded Lady who's quite possibly the most vocally talented of the lot.) But they NEVER RESOLVE THIS! The circus folk just kind of get over it. WHY INCLUDE THIS IF HE NEVER APOLOGIZES FOR IT!?!?!? Are we to take him returning in the end as an apology? Because it's not. Sloppy convenience is what I call it. 


First Pro: The theme of "I'm enough as I am," is absolutely beautiful and relevant. I LOVE that it not only applied to the circus peoples, but to Barnum, who kept thinking he wasn't enough even though Michelle Williams kept trying to tell him he was more than enough.

Second Pro: The singing was nice.

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My brother once told me he respected movies that accomplished what they set out to accomplish. This movie fulfilled its goal, but it was also dull. HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT. BOONIE?!?!?!?! I HATE YOU!!!! It's because I didn't care about Barnum. He was kind of a creep. He never sacrificed beyond risking all his money. I cared way more about everybody else, than I did about him.

But would I recommend it? Eh. I would tell you, "It's okay. Kinda fun. Kinda dull. Really great theme. Lots of people liked it." It reminded me of Newsies. I'd say it's better than Newsies. There. Sparkling review. 

Okay. I'll leave it here, fully convinced some of my friends now hate me. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Why Haven't You Written Your Horror Movie?

Tonight, let's talk about you. Why haven't you written that horror movie you've been thinking about writing? IT'S NOT HARD! Just do it. Here. I'll help.


First step: introduce genre. 
This is a horror movie, so we generally wanna start with something SCARY, like Casey getting gutted and hung on her swingset, or something. Yeah. Why don't we just do that? Only instead of Casey played by Drew Barrimore, ala Scream, we'll have her name be Julia and she'll be played by Emma Watson. 

Second step: introduce protagonist.
Now, it's a horror movie, so the protagonist HAS to be female. It's the law. The movie cops will come to your house and arrest you, (or charge you a hefty fine,) if you have a male protagonist in a horror film. Yes. Of course it's been done, but nobody thinks you can pull it off. No offense. So let's have ours, sorry, YOURS be someone like Nicole Kidman in The Others, and she's wondering why her kids are acting weird. Except instead of whatever her character's name was, we'll call her Josephine, and she'll be played by Olivia Wilde. 

Third step: throw the audience off the scent.
The audience is going to figure out what's going on, unless you give them a valid reason to suspect that's totally not what's going on. So, when the dude who's been dead the whole time only talks to the kid who can talk to dead people, we might want to throw in a scene where he seemingly speaks to his wife over dinner. Brilliant! Oh, except, in our female-driven plot, Josephine will be the ghost, and she'll be meeting with her husband, Owen Wilson. 

Fourth step: be boring for a while.
You know that part in The Ring where she's driving around investigating, and it's so dull? YOU NEED THAT! So, have Josephine investigate for, like, half an hour at least.


Fifth step: get confusing.
Image result for i know what you did last summerThis is the part where we try and make sense of complete randomness, and suddenly our heroine will discover who the bad guy is, but we'll totally not get it, like at the end of I Know What You Did Last Summer. Except, for us Josephine will suddenly realize her friend Chase, played by Tobey Maguire, is somehow, inexplicably, the bad guy? Okay.

Sixth step: kill the bad guy.
Call the cops first, say, "I just shot an intruder," then shoot the bad guy. This was the best part of Sleeping with the Enemy, except in ours Josephine will say this and shoot Chase... who, you know, we'll just take your word for it, is the bad guy.

Seventh step: JUST KIDDING!
TWIST! A twist can be anything from the bad guy not really being dead, "EEP!" BLAMO! Or it could be something MIND BLOWING, like everyone was actually in present day Connecticut. Let's do that. So, turns out, Josephine, who thought she was living in the 1800's, was, as luck would have it, actually in 2018 Connecticut, a 1/2 mile from a Target she could have been shopping in her whole life.


So, there's your movie. Julia gets gutted, Josephine's kids are weird so she has dinner with Owen Wilson, but actually DOESN'T 'cause she's a ghost. We're bored for a while. Apparently Tobey Maguire is the villain. She tells the cops she just shot an intruder - WHAT!? Target has popcorn!? The End. 

Honestly, that's not half bad.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Marie Antoinette

The 2006 movie is now on Netflix. So let's talk.

Image result for rose byrne marie antoinetteAround 2006 we saw a rise of period pieces that tried to relate to youth. Euck. The worst parts of A Knight's Tale are the parts where they stab in little modernisms. Otherwise it's a complete delight. Point is, I CAN RELATE TO PEOPLE FROM HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO WITHOUT MODERN MUSIC! 

But while that was the worst part of A Knight's Tale, and they also do it a little bit, and very sporadically, in Marie Antoinette, it's not the worst part of Marie Antoinette. The worst parts of Marie Antoinette are the slow, boring shots, the COMPLETE lack of story, the lack of drama -- 

Now. There's a LOT of drama in the historical story of Marie Antoinette. It's ALL missing from the movie. Where the heck did it go!?!? 

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Instead, the movie chooses to JUST focus on relating us to her. "She's just like me. Ooooh! I like shoes too! Ooooh! I want to eat those macarons! Ooooh! Her dress is so pretty!" But that's not a story. That's a picture book. Give me some crayons and I can color it and that would actually be fun. But this is a movie. I can't color a movie. I CAN watch it and go, "Ooooooh! What a weird life. How sad she must have been at times, and how luxurious, and how unfair the mean mob was to chase her for spending a lot of money while they starved. It wasn't her fault. It was society's!" Which, seemed like what they wanted me to go away saying. But... it's just unfull. It's an unfulfilling movie. 

It's aesthetically pleasing, seeing how beautiful everything in Versailles is. But the script and film itself... boring fluff. But, I kind of feel like that's the point, so... whatever. To sum it all up: Too much fluff, not enough head-chopping.

By the way, Rose Byrne was fantastic.

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017: Boon Awards

Image result for dead men tell no talesNo. I didn't see all the films. So here's a list of the contenders:

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Monster Trucks (Can you believe I've seen this twice?)
The Lego Batman Movie
Beauty and the Beast
Power Rangers
Boss Baby (to be fair, I didn't see all of it)
The Circle (okay, I only saw 10 minutes of the middle)
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Wonder Woman
Cars 3
Despicable Me 3
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Emoji Movie
Thor: Ragnarok
Murder on the Orient Express
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

So, let me get rid of some of these so-called "contenders" right now.

Monster Trucks
The Lego Batman Movie
Beauty and the Beast
Power Rangers
Boss Baby
The Circle
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Wonder Woman
Cars 3
Despicable Me 3
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Emoji Movie
Thor: Ragnarok
Murder on the Orient Express
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

And, just like that, we're left with 11 pretty darn good movies. Good job, 2017.
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So, the Boon Awards. Here we go.
The nominees are
Lego Batman
Cars 3

And the winner is... LEGO BATMAN! Cars 3 wasn't REALLY in the running, and Coco was good, but was it Lego Batman good? Alas, nope.

The nominees are
Lego Batman
Guardians 2
Wonder Woman
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And the winner is... GUARDIANS
That's a tough category. Sorry. I loved all the nominees. Like, I LOVED them. But these are the Boon Awards not the "Elite Film Awards of Correctness."

The contenders would have to be
Guardians OTG2
Star Wars: TLJ
Murder on the OE
Wonder W

And, wow. I'm sorry. I think I'm gonna have to go with Murder on the Polar Orient Express. If we take into account ALL elements of film, and if we prize a film's aesthetics, and mind-blowing abilities, and if we care at all about outstanding and superb acting, and writing, I think we have to award this movie for it's excellence. Oh wow that's a self-serving load of BS. I liked the movie, okay? Okay. Good. Let's move on.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemWhat are you looking forward to seeing in 2018? Me? I can hardly wait to see me some Crimes of Grindelwald! Anyone else dying over Dumbledore's corduroy coat? What was it Kingsley said? "You may not like him, Minister, but you can't deny... Dumbledore has got style."

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Star Wars The Last Jedi

What do you need to know about this movie before going to see it? You hear some people hate it. You hear some people love it. How can you know who to listen to without spoiling the movie?
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I'm trying to put into words WHY some people hate it and WHY some people love it. So here goes -

The Great Divide
Most of the people I know who hated the movie, happen to be about 10 years younger than me. (Prepare yourself for swooping generalizations!) What that means is they saw the Prequels when they were kids. They didn't grow up watching and loving the originals, and only the originals, as they were in the 70's-80's. They weren't completely annoyed at the digital remastered versions of the originals. They may not even understand the phrase, "Han shot first." And, you know what? They like, tolerate, or accept the prequels. They think "Yeah prequels! Woo! That's Star Wars to me! I like the part where Yoda fights what's-his-bucket, or the part where the little speeders speed around. There was some unfortunate dialogue, and we understand when some people hate Jar-Jar, but generally we totally dig these movies!"
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That was hard to write.
Anyway - so if you're a PL, (Prequel Lover,) then what you like about what you consider legitimate Star Wars, isn't found in Episode 8. 

That would pretty much be the end of my list of theories, except my brother didn't like Episode 8 either. (I should specify. I have three, Star Wars lovin' brothers. One liked it. One hasn't seen it. One didn't like it.) He's older than me. He's a hard-core original Star Wars fan who hates the dreaded prequels, and wants Lucas to serve time for creating them. (That part I made up.) So, we can speculate about why some Gen-Xers might not like The Last Jedi, and why don't we? It'll be fun.

Pros vs Cons
This movie wasn't perfect. I'd, personally, rank it after Episode 7, and probably even after Rogue One. I'm not sure about this ranking. It's WAY better, and doesn't even deserve to be compared to, the DP, (Dreaded Prequels.) It's also not as good as the originals. BUT IT HAS ITS MOMENTS. I love it for these moments, but they are spoilers, so let's bring out our warning.
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Chewbacca's Death
No. I'm kidding. He's fine. But one thing I do hear a lot of gripe about is Luke in general. "This isn't Luke!" Yes. This is most DEFINITELY Luke. He slipped for a split-second. THAT IS SO LUKE! How many times in the originals did he completely lose his cool and anger-fight Vader? All the friggin' time! HE WAS CONFLICTED! I enjoyed that they weren't afraid of their characters. They weren't afraid of giving Luke faults, and CHARACTER. This is something the prequels NEVER DID! Lucas was too scared to make his characters AT ALL INTERESTING. And instead we had lifeless mannequins posing in pretty costumes in front of pretty green-screens spouting dribble and doing nobody-knows-what. 

Image result for star wars the last jediI'm almost tempted to make a list of everything I liked and everything I didn't, but oh gosh! Could you imagine if I did?!?!?! It would be soooooooo long and boring! 
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway. That's gonna have to suffice for now. Did you like it? Tell me if my theories helped, were totally right, or were way off base and a little insulting. Thanks for stopping by! 

Can I just say... I didn't need to know where blue milk came from... and now... I can't ever go back to not knowing....