A blog about general entertainment, fashion, and movies. And some random stuff too.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tolkien Snob: Thoughts on The Hobbit

I went into this movie with very low expectations because of all the soap boxes I got onto during the development of this movie (especially the announcement that it was going to all of a sudden become a trilogy). For the most part, my biggest problem with what I KNEW Peter Jackson was going to do was make The Hobbit NOT about the hobbit, Bilbo, thus making a movie that's more about how bright and shiny Middle-earth is than it is about my favorite character. How could Bilbo actually be overshadowed in his own story when he's the title character?! It was an infuriating idea, but was something I knew would happen and I prepared myself for it.

Spoilers below I guess. 

In the end, here are my thoughts on the film:

The Hobbit should be The Hobbit, but since I knew it wasn't going to be about that going in, I lowered my expectations and so it was ok. I liked it. I loved parts. I disliked parts. It's more about the Rise of the Shadow in Middle-earth than The Hobbit storyline, but again. I already knew that was going to happen. Also, anything that gives Andy Serkis more "screen time" can never be a bad decision. When Gollum happened I had too much of a fangirl reaction to be normal. I love Andy Serkis and I am not ashamed.

Had I not been a Tolkien fan, this movie would have dragged on and on. I loved the beginning because there was Frodo and old Bilbo, but then the introduction of all the dwarves took forever. I did end up liking them all much more than I expected, save for Thorin who I didn't like at all, though I wish I had. Regular movie-goers (opposed to book nerds) probably felt like dozing the entire beginning. They wanted a journey, but we were still in Bag End an hour after the film started.

The last fight scene was so over-the-top slow-motion dramatic I am sure you could hear my eyes rolling. The pale orc was way overdone as well. I hated all that extra stuff that basically just added fake tension and minutes to the film. Hated it. It didn't add anything for me because it felt regurgitated and contrived. If PJ had been able to present that extra stuff in a better way, maybe a more original way than cookie cutter bullcrap from LotR, maybe I could have dealt with it. And if they had added something to Thorin's character other than just making him seem petulant and bitchy, sure that would have been good, too. But it did not work. Not for me, and many others at least. I know it was trying to beef up their story, but it didn't add what it should have. 

Also, it was unnecessary because as cool as the dwarves are, they aren't supposed to be the stars, so beefing them up to overshadow Bilbo was never going to work for me. But I had at least hoped what they did would be better than what it actually turned out to be. Azog, the pale orc, just needs to GET OUT. 

That's not to say I wasn't surprised by how much I loved some of the dwarves. I really enjoyed them. Especially Bofur and Bilbo's exchange near the end. I felt that and it was so sweet. It's really just all the extra stuff they added and tweaked for Thorin that pissed me off. Like... do we really need a history lesson at the campsite with a flashback of Thorin's life while he broodingly pouts across the way? We've seen that before PJ! Find a new trick. Ugh, PJ is such a sap and overly self indulgent and he reminded me of that at ever turn.

However, I enjoy it for the most part, and especially these:

  • Gollum was the best part of this movie. 
  • Gandalf was absolutely badass. 
  • Bilbo was precious, but as I suspected, there was not enough of him.   
  • There was Frodo at the beginning and he checked the mail and I died. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Why Fear a Batman Reboot?

It's inevitable that WB will be rebooting Batman, probably sooner rather than later. Batman is their biggest DC cash-cow, and after the success of The Dark Knight Rises, they will want to move on without Nolan and Bale (not because they choose to, but because they have to). This leaves many fans of the Nolan Bat-verse shaking in our boots. However, many others have come out of the wood work claiming that people who don't want a new Batman reboot aren't Batman fans but are instead just Nolan fans. 
Why would people who love Batman fear a reboot? Wouldn't we all want MORE Batman, regardless? My response goes as so:
It has a lot to do with trust. I’ve grown up a Batman fan, I’ve lived through many versions of Batman (I watched the silly ’60s reruns as a toddler, BTAS as a child, Burton’s series, etc…) and what I think a lot of fans of BATMAN are worried about is that rushing into a new “reboot” will bring about the issues we had with Batman Forever/Batman and Robin. 
There is a reason we love Nolan’s Batman so much, and I think it has a lot do with (at least for me) giving Batman the presentation he deserves by a writer/director/team of actors that actually understand it better than any other group has. I think Christian Bale said it nicely after Batman Begins: Nolan gave Batman his dignity back. What fans are worried about is that a new director with a less honest understanding of Batman may come along and strip him of that again.
There can be TOO much of something. There can likewise be a good place to stop and realize more could ruin it. 
I’m TERRIFIED to see what the reboot does to this character I have loved for so long, especially after being presented with something like Nolan’s Bat-series. I am a fan of Nolan as a director, but what he did for Batman is something on a completely other level for me. It’s not because it’s Nolan that I love his Batman movies. It’s because I can see through almost every aspect of his Batman movies that he loves Batman as much as the fans of Batman do, and he’s trying to him justice for that reason. That’s a rare trait to find in directors. Even if they think they get it, not many do. Nolan DOES. 
It’s trust. It will take a lot of convincing for me to trust anyone else with Batman. It just will. I've been burned before, I hope I can love again like I loved Nolan, but I can't make that promise.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Addressing a The Dark Knight Rises "plot hole" ...

I don't know how many of you guys follow the film blog culture, but the most recent trend has been to try to poke holes in The Dark Knight Rises. Most of these things boil down to the fact that the writer wrote his/her blog after seeing the movie only once (or just didn't pay attention) and didn't fully understand the plot. Because of this, they aren't worth responding to because the answer to their condescending questions about the film can be answered by a second viewing of the film. 

However, there is one "plot hole" I did ended up addressing in conversation with some of my friends so I decided to go ahead and post it anyways. 

Obviously this will be spoilery in nature, so read at your own risk.

It has to do with Bruce Wayne and the Miranda character. Check it out if you are interested:

One of the points an entry tried to make was this:
Christian Bale and Marion Cotillard Have Sex – On the one hand, yes these are two very attractive individuals. Why shouldn’t they give in to their carnal desires? On the other, more reasonable hand, there is virtually no development in the relationship between these two. They’re running in the rain, then they start making out, then in the next scene they’re naked. If only real-life romance worked like this. 
Seriously though, with no emotional attachment to this relationship, Talia’s eventual betrayal is nothing more than a Shyamalan-style twist with no impact behind it. A missed opportunity.
So condescending... good lord...

So is the argument against the TDKR sex scene being "out of the blue" based on Batman's reaction to Miranda/Talia's betrayal?  I understand why someone would question Batman's reaction to the Talia reveal if the Bruce/Miranda thing is viewed as only a one-night stand, but I think to view what happens between Bruce and Miranda as a one-night stand is a really shallow interpretation of what is actually going on with Bruce at the time. 

The way I see it is, emotionally, Bruce is really vulnerable at that time, he just lost everything (almost literally) but -especially- he lost Alfred, someone who has always been there for him his entire life. I see him finally opening himself up to someone new as a way of him trying to forgive Alfred and move forward in his life for the first time in 8 years. That one night with Miranda meant a lot to Bruce because it was the first person he allowed to be close to him -the first woman he allowed himself to trust and feel for- since Rachel died. From that point on it wasn't just a one-nighter to him. She meant a new future and a new Bruce.

So Batman's reaction when Miranda/Talia turned out to be behind everything he's fighting against is actually pretty accurate. Especially because I don't think he's only reacting to the betrayal, but also to the fact that Bane and Talia have worked for so long to bring him down on BOTH fronts (the Batman and the Bruce front), that he was wrong about the League of Shadows/Bane/Ras/etc, and the fact that he just got flipping stabbed so is probably going to lose this fight, too.

The only understandable comment on the Bruce/Miranda relationship that I've heard is that there didn't seem to be a lot of chemistry between the two of them...

I disagree. I think there was a good bit of chemistry between them (especially in the scene at the party where she kind of shut him down for assuming the party $$ wasn't going to the charity; cute moments like that between them).

But also, I think if there was chemistry lacking, it worked for the story because we find out that Miranda/Talia actually hates Bruce... so if it felt forced, it could still work for the characters.
Bruce was trying to be open to the possibility of a future with a new lady that everyone around him was pushing on him even though he may not have been emotionally ready, and Talia was only hitting that to drive the knife in deeper for later when she reveals the betrayal. 
You can't look at this scene without also taking into consideration everything happening around it.

If you watch a movie and evaluate scenes in a shallow way then OF COURSE you are going to only see something shallow. So just shut up already with your "plot hole" bull until you actually take a deeper approach to what you're doing rather than just trying to sound smarter than Nolan.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: The Ending

This started as a small response about the ending then turned into kind of a mini-break down Bruce's relationships with the people close to him and a mini-character analysis of Selina... WHOOPS, I don't know.

Seriously read at your own risk, it completely ruins the ending, but I really want to discuss it so...


Monday, July 23, 2012

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

I can only really express my feelings for this movie with bullet points... so here we go:

MEGA Spoilers below...

  • I absolutely ABSOLUTELY loved this dang movie.. sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much. I JUST... lk;fasjdlkfajsdl;kfajwefncihxg;e rijkg[pflht
Ok now actual things. 
  • I enjoyed Bale as Bruce more in this movie than ever before. I felt like there was so much more playful writing for his character than there ever has been. 
  • I was very sad when Alfred left Bruce.

    And then I was sure Alfred was going to die... bc Bane knew who Bruce was, so I was sure he'd use Alfred against him. So glad he didn't.
  • IT WAS SO VIOLENT. I know that's redundant for a super hero movie, but I've never seen Batman get beat on like he does in this movie, and I was NOT okay with. Nope. Nope. Nope. 
  • ANNE HATHAWAY ... she was like... good. I was so skeptical the whole lead-up to this movie about her being Catwoman, but the way they did her.. she was fabulous. It was great. GREAT. 
(Let me preface the next "feels" by this, Catwoman and Batman were the cake toppers at my and my husband's wedding, srsly)
        IN COSTUME
        AND OMG
  • And Catwoman even begs Batman to come with her because they could go anywhere and be anything together and GOD OH GOD OHOOOGFGG GODDDDD
Here are all my ending feels:
  • I was stifling sobs. It was... almost like Snape-crying. 
  • They absolutely tricked me. 
  • And then the funeral... and Alfred CRIED and said he was sorry he failed the Waynes... and I just... fg;lehcjgnjsdhjg NO NO NO ALFRED NO. 
  • Then JGL quits the force... and then they give Batman a statue in the city... 
  • Then Alfred goes on his little trip... and we find out JGL's REAL NAME IS ROBIN AND Asdj hcgnfpaieudfnghkdjfvnlksajfghbkljdh 
  • I kept having feel after feel after feel until I died of emotions.
  • The ending was everything I never knew I was allowed to want and especially didn't think we'd get.
  • I was SURE Bat and Cats would not be in love. I was sure they were going with the Talia thing as the love interest. Period. So I was SO surprised and happy kldjfgldaksjghenhgbcxjd nfxhvjm
  • Nolan it's like you wrote your ending after digging through my HEART

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Why I Don't Think Dirk Will Leave Dallas...

Well, I'll post this and then in about an hour it'll be announced that he's going to the freaking Heat or something, but whatever...

I think Dirk will retire LONG before he would ever ask to be traded. It's no secret that Dirk is an older player... which even though most of us don't want to admit... is something to be concerned about.

If Cuban had kept who he could have of our 2011 championship team, we may have been able to make another run this past season. Heck, even with the sad group we had this year it came down to the last shot nearly every game with the Western Conference Champs. Dirk may be too old NOW (it's arguable, though I think he has many good years left) to wait a whole OTHER season, like we have to at this point, but he would have been fine to go for it last season or this season if Cubes gave a crap to try. Now the next time we'll have a shot is when Dirk will be 36. That's pretty old for his position.

And NOW we've lost Kidd? There are hardly any pieces left... Dirk is basically it. And everyone is expecting and speculating Dirk to ask for a trade...


I can't see him asking for a trade this close to the end of his career when he's always only ever been a Mav. Why would he want to retire as something else? Especially if he goes to another team and doesn't win another championship with them. He may as well stay here at his home to do that.

I wouldn't blame Dirk for deciding to retire and just marry his gal and settle into his awesomeness at this point, but I cannot see him leaving to retire elsewhere. He stays here a few more years and he is guaranteed to retire as one of the best athletes in Dallas history, literally. He goes somewhere else he isn't guaranteed a dang thing and then will retire as some random stock player for some unsuited team that could never love him like I we do. Ever.

So do I think he'll ask for a trade? No. Do I think he'll stay and play through his contract? NO IDEA. Will him retiring shock me? NOPE. 


The real problem is Mark could have prevented this ever being a possibility if it had been his priority to take care of Dirk, but I think in Cubes' mind it was like "Ok we got one with the German, time to look to a future without him," instead of cultivating what he has left. Dirk deserves SO much better than that after all he's done for this franchise. It's such a shame. And like I said yesterday, I will never love an athlete like I love Dirk, and it's sad to think this era of my sports life is nearly over and we've already seen the climax of the story.

I'm also sick of people telling me to have faith in Cubes... I love him Cubes but HE LEAD US HERE. So you know what I am going to be angry, and it is completely valid that I am angry. He owes us ALL answers. THE END. lkad;jflskjewflkaj

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Newsies vs Newsies: What Changed from Film to Broadway?

I have been thinking about the stage show of Newsies constantly ever since I saw it on Friday night (the 99th performance of the show!). Besides the gorgeous choreography, blocking, and singing the main thing that has me obsessed is how they adapted and changed Newsies for the stage. 
With the musical, they updated it and changed some weak links from the movie. It’s SO much better on stage, as much as I adore the original movie! (I guess read no further if you don’t want Broadway spoilers…)
  • They took out Denton’s character and combined that news reporter ally with Jack Kelly’s love interest (Don’t worry she’s not some cougar old lady reporter after 17 year old newsboys. She’s a 16 year old named Katherine who is trying to make it as a real reporter based on Nellie Bly, a real 16 year old female reporter from that time period! Very cool) so there would be a strong female role, deleting the worthless Molly Sue (or Mary Sue whichever you prefer) of a sister Dave has in the film (ugh I always hated her). Thank GOD. Katherine is present throughout the entire show and is actively involved in (and in many ways is at the core of) the strike instead of being a side character. And the lyrics of “King of New York” don’t shy away from referring to her as a king, showing that gender doesn’t matter one way or another in this show or in who can make a difference. Ladies can be just as powerful as the guys, something the movie kind of failed at. 
  • The lyrics to the songs were shifted to be more relevant to be used in today’s “battles” (one of the tag lines for the show is “The perfect musical for our time!”) and they also replaced what could have been considered less sensitive phrasing to more political correctness. The movie WAS made nearly 20 years ago so I guess that makes sense. 
  • They changed Medda and I was SO thankful. Her song is different (much improved) because, let’s face it, her movie songs are awful. Also, she didn’t have an accent on stage which somehow made her relationship with the kids seem less creepy. I know that sounds weird (and don’t take this to mean I think accents are bad, I LOVE them…), but movie!Medda and her accent always came off to me like…. scary, cougar lady-Chesterthan the mothering, helpful ally I think they wanted her to be. (Also, I think 20 years ago the creep factor didn’t occur to us as much as it does now.) The stage Medda was written to be much more of a mentor and amamma, plus we weren’t left to speculate as to why she and Jack Kelly were friends, like we were in the movie (where we’d have to creepily wonder how they met and it could only lead to something … awk)…
  • …because they added depth to Jack Kelly’s character by making him an artist. AN ARTIST. (saklhfclnjrgwlber) Jack paints back-drops for Metta’s stage shows. Instead of being just a rough and tumble newsboy, Jack also has a soft sensitive side where he can paint gorgeous landscapes just from his imagination. He also refuses to take money for the paintings he does for Medda, establishing that Jack also has integrity and loyalty (the audience can assume he refuses to take Metta’s money because she has done so much to save him in the past). It’s a REALLY smart move and, even though it’s simple, it flushes out Jack’s character and adds a lot more to him than it ever occurred to me there could be. (Also, how dreamy! Jack Kelly, with his charisma and bad-boy persona, is also secretly a tortured artist? WTF OMG OKAY DISNEY STOP.)
  • They really play up the relationship between Jack and Crutchie, which makes everything that happens in the show much more emotional. It’s not ALL the newsies living together, it’s Jack and Crutchie….. and then they hang with the rest of the newsboys at work. So when Crutchie is taken, it packs a much harder punch. 
  • Overall, the entire story is more emotional and powerful. Since Newsies on Broadway has become its own project, much more care was put into every single avenue of production, something that I don’t think really went into making the movie. It’s not dealt with as though it was just for kids, though it is a kid friendly show, and because of that it comes off as a much more powerful story. The silliness you may feel from the movie is absent in the stage show. Not that it isn’t funny, because it IS. 
The only bad thing about it being a stage show is I will never get to see it again, and that breaks my heart, because it was absolutely perfect. I loved it! 
Kara Lindsay (Katherine) and me!
Jeremy Jordan (Jack Kelly) and me!!!

If Disney wants to make my life, they should release this musical on DVD some day in the future for my kiddos to see!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Playoff Blues: What would happen if I owned a sports team.

re: emotions joke - Just clarifying that I had this conversation with my father, who isn't a female, and who made all these points before I even thought about them. He's basically the basketball guru, his perspective is always the perspective I never realized I had. Coaching for 20 years will do that to you.

Also, had this exact same conversation with one of my sportsfan dude friends, so... yeah.

Men have emotions. It was an ironic joke and I laughed, but I had to clarify that.

And I get why Mark would do this. Basically I really think we could have repeated this year with the team we DID have and I wanted THAT.

I don't want to, nor am I willing to, think of a future without Dirk.

So that has a lot to do with my perspective on this...

But also... I am not a business person, and Mark is. So I would probably drive the Mavs into bankruptcy trying to keep as many of our best players for as long as possible without thinking of the future.

Then one day they would all be 41 years old, retire, and I'd own a franchise with no players. 
Or all noobs who will play for free.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Titanic Reflection: Why Does it Work?

So, Titanic has just been rereleased into theaters after fifteen years. It was one of the most successful movies in history and began the careers of what we can now say are two of the most accomplished and talented actors of our time. Yet, despite all of that, plus the enormous fan base this film still has, there are tons of detractors who claim this movie is terrible. Are they right? Actually, they're onto something. Despite its success and the big name actors that are involved, there is a lot wrong with this movie. Which begs the question, then: why does it work? 

Why I Love It 

I watched Titanic for the first time as an 11-year-old, was deeply affected by the tragedy/story, became fascinated with the history, and fell in love with Leonoardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet. I think a huge amount of the people my age (mostly the girls) probably had similar experiences with this movie, and so it played a huge part in our adolescence. Nostalgia is most likely the reason why 99.8% of people are paying $14 to wear stupid 3D glasses and sit for three hours to see a movie they probably own on DVD. I know when the movie began in my theater, I clapped my hand over my heart and I was in 6th grade again. Same heart pangs and everything.

The movie gets me every time, even when I start out completely convinced I'm not in the right mind-set to cry. It's no use. The following is a glimpse into my mind as I relive watching the movie:
Basically from beginning to the middle of Titanic my heart is exploding with rainbows because I love Jack and Rose SO much, and there is all this sexual and romantic tension and … LEO’S BEAUTIFUL PERFECT FACE BEING ALL IN LOVE AND STUFF...
..but THEN they hit the iceberg and immediately I’m all, “I REGRET THIS DECISION. MISTAKE MISTAKE. ABORT MISSION.” And by the end…I'm weeping for the remainder of the week day. 

Obviously, I adore Titanic. However, while I adore this movie and have no resistance to it's inexplicable charms, there is no way you'll ever hear me describe it as "genius" or "masterful" or "spectacular" in terms of film making.

What's Wrong With It?

James Cameron loves to plaster his name all over this film and make sure to remind everyone that he invented the Titanic -er, that he made the movie Titanic. As the credits began to roll, the first thing that flashed across the screen is "Written and Directed by James Cameron." He's really proud of what he's accomplished, and I guess he's earned it because, as I said, it's ridiculously successful. But I am under the impression that Cameron thinks it's because of him and his writing, which I have to proclaim to be false

He writes in circular symbolism and irony that is about as subtle as a sledgehammer. It's not hard to get it upon first viewing, let alone multiple viewings. It’s not “genius” or deep in any way. It’s just… obvious. The characters are all flat, two-dimensional beings and only a fraction of them are dynamic.  It's nothing that another writer couldn't produce with his/her eyes closed. It's not earth-shattering by any means.

I love this movie in spite of how shallow the characters and dialogue are. The love story is done well, but I think it has a lot to do with the arrangement of events created and how they’re acted, not how the events and dialogue are written. 
The dialogue can sometimes be so self-indulgent and cheesy that, if it weren’t Kate and Leo saying the words, I’d roll my eyes. But then there are moments that are meant to pander to the audience, yet they still work for me and make me smile. Blast James Cameron, because some of his cheap tricks still work on me, even though I acknowledge that a trick is what it is. But, again, that doesn't mean it's good film making. It just means Cameron knows the tricks to manipulate.
I had this poster hanging in my room when I was 11. Srsly.
Why It Works

The reasons Titanic works, in my opinion, are these things:

Firstly, the history it’s based on is tragic, fascinating, and unique; naturally people are going to be drawn in by it. If I refuse to give James Cameron credit for most of the things he did with this film, one credit I cannot withhold is how much research he did to make it as real as possible. He immersed himself in the history, studied picture after picture of life on Titanic, even recreated some of the most iconic images in the movie. The sinking of the ship was well-thought out and wonderfully executed. When it comes to film making, Cameron excels in special effects and details. 

He also showed forensic details as well as emotional details of the disaster. What would it look like from a technical standpoint when "A" happens to the ship? What would it feel like from a victim's standpoint? etc... We see horrifying images of the lights blinking on and off, strange groaning as the ship is bent by the pressure of the water. We see haunting images of unused China shattering in piles, an old couple holding one another in bed, knowing they can't make it to a life boat. In that way, Cameron didn't miss a beat. Watching the the last 45 minutes of this movie is enthralling because Cameron has recreated something only the actual people on that ship had seen up until this movie was released, and however morbid that might be, it is also fascinating.

Another reason it works is because the characters are archetypal so it makes them easy to relate to. There are no characters in the movie that are multi-dimensional (unless you want to argue in favor of Rose which would be a skimpy argument, overall). They are mostly vague versions of people and therefore it's easy for many viewers (rather than a small specific group) to latch onto the good guys and abhor the bad guys. 

And lastly, it works because the love story is something many, many people root for. They want to believe a love like that of Jack and Rose can really exist. I was reading some movie responses for Titanic and many said they don't believe that a love like this can exist anymore, which was rather sad to me. One in particular spoke about how materialistic and selfish current day culture is and that it doesn't foster this kind of devotion, claiming that the time in which a love like this maybe could have occurred is gone forever. 

That perspective just drives my point home further that people really want to believe in this kind of love, and if they don't believe they can find it in real life, then where will they go? Maybe... to a movie, where they can cling to the hope they feel when they watch a girl give up her millions to be with a penniless artist who wants nothing more than to make sure she's going to be okay, because nothing is more important to either of them than the other person.   

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

I almost don't know what to say within this review because I'm afraid it will just be redundant praise, things many other reviews have already addressed. The quality of this movie was awesome, not just from a book adaptation stand point (which is what I usually pay most attention to), but as a film: the camera work, the use of the score, the score itself, the acting, etc. It is a great movie, even if you haven't read and loved the books. Therefore, what I think I'll do is explore all the things that originally I was skeptical about and how the movie sold me on those things. Basically, the next few paragraphs will be me admitting how wrong I was to doubt that this movie would be good. Enjoy!

What made me skeptical of this film in the last year were the following:
  • Marketing ("Twilight-afying" it)
  • Brutality
  • Casting
Let's break it all down. 


One huge red flag I had about this movie was how they seemed to be marketing it. Nothing is more laughable than the Twilight series, in my opinion (I literally burst out laughing when Breaking Dawn 2 trailer came on before The Hunger Games; it was real bad). The books are awful, the movies are just as bad, and it could not be anything farther from what The Hunger Games is. So why in God's name would they want to market it like Twilight?

It beats me, but it certainly was the main reason I was not looking forward to seeing it for a long time. I couldn't bear the thought of them dumbing down something as profound as The Hunger Games and funneling it into something as shallow and cheap as "Team Peeta" & "Team Gale." Yet, it had already begun. The headlines read "Hunger Games: The Next Twilight!" or "Look out Vampires: There's a New Teen Sensation!" Vanity Fair even did the EXACT same photoshoot for The Hunger Games cast as they did for the Twilight cast. See exhibit A and B:

"We are all bffs!"
Hunger Games:
"So are we, but not as snugly!"

"Look how there are 3 of us!"

 Hunger Games:
"Yeah 1, 2, 3! Only we get trees."
Seriously? I was horrified by this, not because the photos were bad (they're all adorable, to be honest) but because of the associations people would make. How many people would be turned off by the comparison of Twilight to The Hunger Games? And how many people would reduce it to something it's not because of that comparison? AND how completely unfair to make this comparison since The Hunger Games is actually a fantastic deep commentary while Twilight is basically shallow teen smut! Collins doesn't deserve to be cut down like that and Meyer doesn't deserve to be complimented like that. IT'S ALL WRONG. And yet... they kept pitching it for the "Twilight" audience. The only good thing they took from Twilight is how they released and compiled the soundtracks.

Because of all of this, I didn't even buy a midnight showing ticket. That's right, I, the queen of midnight premieres, did not go to a midnight showing of a book adaptation that I really love because I was too afraid it would be such a horrible disappointment based on this marketing. Not that the franchise was hurt by missing out on my one ticket, but I just couldn't bear the thought of going and being massively let down. So when the great reviews that gave me hope started to pour in nearing the home stretch right before the movie opened, it was already too late to get tickets.

Plus, what is really funny about this is the movie was so far from being like Twilight. I'm still baffled as to why they felt the need to go that route for so long, but I am SO GLAD that the film itself wasn't "Twilight-afied," which was seriously my worst fear.


Anyone who loves the book series will tell you that one of the most important things about the story is the violence because it portrays how backwards and corrupt the society had become. For the longest time my friends and I would sit and wonder about ways they could make this movie correctly without an "R" rating for violence. It's children killing children, after all, an idea that is not something many movies tend to touch on, and especially won't market for kids. However, this is a YA Fiction series, so it had to be able to fly under the PG-13 line. But how?!

Or was the question actually would they even try to show the violence or would it be overshadowed by the miniscule love triangle that isn't even important to the main theme of the story...? Since they were pitching this as a movie tweens could go to and swoon, I had my doubts that they would portray the story as gritty and horrifying as it needed to be.

Thankfully, the film-makers were able to handle the violence with a perfect balance. It was brutal and upsetting, but not so overwhelming that it was off-putting (which sounds weird... children killing children is, of course, off-putting, but you know what I mean). I felt like most kids could see this without being traumatized, but could also appreciate and understand how sickening the world Collins created had become and the message that lies within that.


When the hype started to surround this movie, I tried to keep my distance. However, it is nearly impossible to not have SOME expectations of a series you love so much, so when the casting was announced I had mixed feelings (none of which were about Jennifer Lawrence because I knew she was top-notch-talented, AND loved the book series).

Josh Hutcherson was cast as Peeta and I didn't know what to think of that. I liked him okay but he didn't look anything like what I pictured the character to be when I read the books. Then I read that Woody Harrelson would play Haymitch. That was a decision I wasn't really on board with, either. I pictured him shorter, fatter, and much greasier. More like a tubby Robert Downey Jr. Finally, the casting decision for Cinna as Lenny Kravitz upset me the most. For some reason, I really couldn't get past it and I refused to even try.

"Walk. Walk. Fashion baby."

Naturally I became skeptical of the film immediately.  If so many of the characters I love were cast as people that I was not sure of, I didn't know if I could ever come around. I started doing some research and heard about why they decided on Josh Hutcherson. I knew that I had to get on board with this kid if I was going to be able to make it through the entire series. One of the articles my friend read said that they would've cast Josh Hutcherson "even if he were purple and had wings." Apparently his audition tape really knocked it out of the park and he convinced the writers, director, and Suzanne Collins that he was the right guy no matter what. After that I felt a few of my worries were dispelled but, still, I couldn't picture him as my Peeta. The physicality was just too off. Especially compared to Liam Hemsworth, who they cast as Gale.

The only way I knew that I could be completely sold is if Josh nailed it for me on screen, so I entered the theater not knowing what I was going to feel for him. As unfair as it seems for poor Josh, he had a lot to prove to me; a lot was riding on his performance.

As I watched the movie, the first time we saw Haymitch, I just kept thinking "He's not greasy enough! He's not loud and angry enough!!" However, by the middle of the movie I started warming up to him. Even though it wasn't my choice for the character, Woody Harrelson's portrayal did the job and did it well.  What was really important was to see a connection between him and Katniss, which was very present and grew throughout.

Which brings me to Cinna. Like I said, I was not on board with him in the slightest, however from the first moment Lenny Kravitz was on screen, he had me. He was genuine and seemed to understand the character very well. He was soft-spoken, portrayed his character tenderly, and oozed kindness. The chemistry he had with Jennifer Lawrence was incredible. I was stunned. Humbly do I admit that I was horribly wrong to doubt him! He has made me eat my words.

As for Peeta, an interesting thing happened. The growth of my admiration for Josh sort of mirrored that of his character. In the books we're not sure what to think of Peeta because Suzanne Collins introduces us to Gale first. We feel a connection between the Katniss and Gale and don't know where this other random boy will fit into this puzzle. But Peeta is surprising, and so is Josh. As Katniss and her team's attention is drawn into who Peeta  is, so was I drawn into Josh's performance. Josh did things that I didn't expect, that surprised me and won me over bit by bit. By the middle of the movie he had me, completely. Not to mention, the chemistry he had with Jenn made him even more compelling. Josh owned a role that I never could have pictured him to be in. That's a testament to his portrayal and to the confidence the film makers had in casting him. They hit it spot on by sticking to their guns with him.


I absolutely ADORED this movie. Everything I was worried about was for nothing because it all turned out great. If I am disappointed about anything, it is only that I have to wait over a year and half before I see the next installment. Though, what a wonderful pain, as I never thought I could love again after the end of the Harry Potter series.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top 5: Memorable Fashion from Grammys/BAFTA Weekend 2012

5. Michelle Williams at the BAFTAs

I like this dress on her because it's very classy. Reminds me of Audrey Hepburn, especially with that hair do. However, I don't like the harsh lipstick nor the weird yellow color of her hair. I think the color should be toned down because both make her face look too harsh instead of softening her. Overall, she looks gorgeous, regardless.

4. Kate Beckinsale at the Grammys

Not sure why she was at the Grammys, but did she EVER look more smoking hot than she does in this dress? No. It's so playful and sassy but so elegant at the same time. Unbelievable.

3. Kristen Wiig at the BAFTAs

SHE. LOOKS. SO. GREAT. I usually always have something to say about her looks, but THIS is just fantastic. No reservations, she looks perfectly gorgeous.

2. Rihanna at the Grammys

Everyone thinks they know what I am going to say about this one, but they are wrong. I actually LIKED what she wore for a change. It's like she finally figured out that being a complete slut isn't sexy and that showing a little less IS. Plunging neck line and peek-a-boo back WORK with this dress because it's not TOO much. The slit is a perfect height, it is just gorgeous. The dress is perfectly tailored as well. I like it. Now the hair... not a fan... but every thing else. Yes.

1. Fergi at the Grammys

What the actual... I cannot even with this. WHAT IS YOUR UNDERWEAR SHOWING FOR? You look awful. UNACCEPTABLE.

See the entire album of fashion from this past weekend here and add your own thoughts! (You may need to "like" the page in order to add comments.)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Movie Review: The Woman in Black

I have been looking forward to this movie for a very long time! It's Daniel Radcliffe's first post-Potter film, and although it deals with the supernatural, his character is very different from the Boy Who Lived. He plays Arthur, a father and a widower.  It's a sad story which is driven mostly just by Dan's facial expressions and reactions. (But we're in good hands because, I mean, just look at that face...)

Seriously, tho... that face.
Radcliffe is a really smart man who acknowledged the fact that it will take at least three new films before people see him as something other than Harry Potter. In the same vein, Dan has said that with all the success of the Potter films, he knows he has freedom (where other actors may not) to choose smaller projects at this point in his career, and he feels it's his duty to exercise that. He also acknowledges the fact that many of his fans will see a movie just because he is in it, and because of this he feels he has a responsibility to them to make sure he doesn't force them see something terrible. This is how he chooses the roles he plays. It's really refreshing to know that a kid with this much commercial success and fame can still be so down-to-Earth and reasonable. He's a good one.

That being said, going into this movie I had really high expectations and unfortunately this movie didn't completely live up to them. With how short the movie is, the emotional punch I think the film was trying to make was muted. The middle section felt rushed and so the resolution didn't seemed to grow organically as much as it felt like it was pushed along, feet dragging. It's not as original as I had hoped, nor as severe as the trailers lead me to believe it would be. I think if there had been more time spent on the rising action, it would have held up better, overall.

However, as a PG-13 "horror" movie, it was really good. There were many sequences I thought were perfectly planned out and executed. I jumped and covered my eyes over and over again, sincerely! Not to mention, Daniel Radcliffe does have to carry the film all by himself most of the time, and he does a great job of it. I think it was a good first step out into the world of non-Potter related projects for him and proved he doesn't have to be a school boy for the rest of his career. I really can't wait to see what he does next.

I would suggest that if you are interested in a gore-less scary movie, check this out. It was so much fun. This is especially a great film for any Dan Rad fans. I doubt you'd be disappointed! I enjoyed this despite feeling it didn't live up to my expectations and will probably see it again with my friends.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oscars Noms 2012 Reactions

This is the list of nominations. And this is how I reacted as I read through them:
  • Yay Gary Oldman is nominated! It BETTER BE HIS YEAR TO WIN because I love him more than is appropriate
  • GROSS. Brad Pitt is nominated AGAIN… for what looks to be a completely mediocre role. Also I hate his stupid, smug face. He better not win.
  • NO LEO? WHAT IS EVEN… AMPAS, you can suck it.
  • Rooney Marra! Hooray. I like her even though I hated the movie.
  • Uh oh, both GG winners, Michelle Williams and Meryl Streep are competing for the Oscar.
  • MELISSA MCCARTHY FROM BRIDESMAIDS GOT A NOM! I am SO happy for her!! She is fantastic. I hope she is partying hard today!
  • God… 5 animated movies this year? And I don’t care about ANY of them.
  • Every time I see “War Horse” or “Tree of Life” listed, I get annoyed. 
  • Jane Eyre for costume design! I love it! It needs to be recognized for something. 
  • Also, any time I see “Moneyball” listed, I get angry. 
  • I’m irritated there is no “Jane Eyre” or "Deathly Hallows” for score. 
  • Oh… GOD…. I’ve only seen ONE of the best picture nominees. And I will NOT see… 4 of them because I am not remotely interested (or it’s The Tree of Life and have been told if I watch it my face will melt off my head).  
  • This is a weird thing to be irritated about… but I think Deathly Hallows Part 2 should have been nominated for sound editing and mixing. ANGER.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Broadway Rant: Darren Criss and How To Succeed

As many of you know, I went to NYC about a week and a half ago! It was amazing and a full-fledged post about my experiences there is coming soon, but first... a rant.

Background for those who aren't keeping up with Broadway: Daniel Radcliffe just ended an 11 month run as lead in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and now Darren Criss is taking the lead for just 3 weeks, ending on January 22nd.

I've spent the last week being "Proud Mamma Bear" about Darren Criss being on Broadway, but I think now I need to switch, briefly, into "Protective Mamma Bear."
  • It's not fair for people to criticize/judge Darren's performance/singing in How to Succeed based on a few bootleg YouTube videos and WAV files recorded on someone's iPhone memo app.
  • It's also not fair to compare his stage performance voice to his voice on the tracks of any of the Glee soundtracks because there is a huge difference between professionally produced songs and singing and dancing on stage. As one deliciously snarky YouTuber put it, 'welcome to live theater.' (If anyone has watched him in any Starkid production and compares it to his H2$ performances, you'll agree he's really grown as a performer since then! < / proud mamma again >)
  • It's especially not fair to compare any of that bootleg footage of Darren to the professionally produced soundtrack tracks or professionally recorded video clips of Daniel's show Broadway.com/The Tony's/any number of Tonight Shows/Early Shows showed on TV. Nor is it fair to use that to say how Darren sucks in comparison to Daniel Radcliffe. 
Daniel Radcliffe said in an interview before Darren ever took the stage that he felt Darren would have a hard time ahead of him because of the short amount of time he'd be on stage. Dan said it took him (Dan) months before he really felt like he had sunk into the character and really was doing his best work. Basically, he said he wouldn't want anyone to judge what he can do on stage solely on his first 3 weeks in the show and that he knew that is what Darren was about it endure.

I saw Darren in How to Succeed about a week and a half ago on January 8th. When I got home a few days later, I saw that someone had posted a video of Darren's first night. Just from that YouTube video to the night I saw him, I could tell there was a huge improvement in his performance.

So my point is this--

For someone to take a snapshot from one night and plaster it across the entirety of his performance as though it's an adequate representation of what Darren can do is not right, nor is it fair. Especially if you are comparing it to any of the ultra perfected and produced professional tracks/videos from Dan's show.

Now, from what I saw, I DO think that Daniel is the better actor and Darren is more at home singing and dancing. Overall, they each excelled at what they were most comfortable with. But if Daniel was better, why is that surprising? He's been a professional actor for more than half his life and been mentored by some of the most esteemed actors in the WORLD (...ALAN RICKMAN....). Plus, he was J Pierpont Finch for almost a year. To compare what Darren does in 3 weeks to ANYTHING other than what Daniel did in his first 3 weeks on stage is just stupid.

Anyways. The end. That's my rant. I just had to get it off my chest because, no matter what, I am *no proper adjectives* proud of Darren and the fact that he is head-lining a show on Broadway. He's come so far and is still going and basically, GET OFF MY BABY OKAY.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fashion Album for 2012 Golden Globes

Hey guys, I just posted an album full of red carpet pictures from the 2012 Golden Globes here with my comments. Click the link to browse through and add your thoughts on each look, too!

(You may have to 'like' my blog's page on Facebook to add your comments.) Can't wait to see your perspectives on these celeb looks.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012 New Years Resolution: See 100 New-to-me Movies

Finally finalized my list of movies to watch this year! I should have seen many of these YEARS ago. Thankfully I have awesome friends with awesome taste who suggested a lot of these to me. I’m going to try to write up a small blurb about my impression of each one as I watch them…. TRY! So we’ll see! Check it out.

  1. The Big Lebowski
  2. Fargo
  3. Book of Eli
  4. Amadeus
  5. The Hunger Games
  6. The Dark Knight Rises
  7. The Hobbit
  8. London Blvd
  9. Dr. Strangelove
  10. North by Northwest
  11. Little Children
  12. All About Eve
  13. Sophie’s Choice
  14. The Bridges to Madison County
  15. The Children’s Hour
  16. Harvey
  17. The Great Escape
  18. Friends with Benefits
  19. Cocoon
  20. Quills
  21. Horrible Bosses
  22. Young Adult
  23. Casablanca
  24. Rebel Without a Cause
  25. Taken
  26. Sunset Blvd
  27. Triplets of Belleville
  28. Kiki’s Delivery Service
  29. Milk
  30. Moon
  31. Last Samurai
  32. Blade Runner
  33. A Beautiful Mind
  34. Annie Hall
  35. Street Car Named Desire
  36. Happythankyoumoreplease
  37. The Help
  38. Crank*
  39. Rebecca
  40. 7 Pounds
  41. Apocalypse Now
  42. Snakes on a Plane
  43. Hereafter
  44. Take Shelter
  45. Lars and the Real Girl
  46. Seven Samurai
  47. Attack the Block
  48. Arsenic and Old Lace
  49. Raiders of the Lost Arc
  50. The Apartment
  51. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  52. Snatch
  53. Trainspotting
  54. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  55. The Thing
  56. My Neighbor Totoro
  57. Stand By Me
  58. Ed Wood
  59. NausicaƤ
  60. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
  61. I Love You, Phillip Morris
  62. Old School
  63. Midnight in Paris
  64. The Amazing Spiderman
  65. The Great Gatsby (2012)
  66. Hesher
  67. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  68. The Five-Year Engagement
  69. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  70. Imogene
  71. Woman in Black
  72. US Marshals
  73. O Brother Where Art Thou?
  74. Stir of Echoes
  75. Howl
  76. Flowers of War
  77. We Need to talk about Kevin
  78. Dark Shadows
  79. Men in Black III
  80. Rock of Ages
  81. The Brave
  82. Les Miserables
  83. Mesmer
  84. The High Cost of Living
  85. Cheri
  86. The Virgin Suicides
  87. About a Boy
  88. Billy Elliot
  89. Elizabeth
  90. My Left Foot
  91. Rope
  92. Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid
  93. Truly Madly Deeply
  94. The Beach
  95. Rabbit Hole
  96. Good Night and Good Luck
  97. Drive
  98. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
  99. Perks of Being a Wallflower
  100. Dracula (1979)