Movie To-Do List

The first 11 days of January were passed working at the coffee shop, knocking out my giant life to-do list (I’m finally enrolled for my last semester of classes! Yay! and none of that overachieving business nonsense I was trying to do. I’m taking dance, spanish, art history and film crit if I can snag a spot), and seeing a few choice films.

I saw Philomena (<3 and so so sad.), american Hustle (<3333), The Hobbit (entertaining, at least+Tauriel’s hair is incredible… see post below), and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (probably my favorite film of the year so far)

Here’s what’s left to see from 2013 and my HOLY CRaP GOTTa SEE list for January 2014. Check out this website to watch trailers and make your own list: http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/Movies_In_Theaters_2014.html

From 2013: Wolf of Wall Street, Her, Saving Mr. Banks, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska

January 2014: Jamsey Boy, Beyond Outrage, The Best Offer, Interior Leather Bar, If You Build It, Raze, The Rocket, Cold Comes the Night, Banshee Chapter, Hamlet, The Truth About Emanuel, Free Ride, Truth, Loves Her Gun, The Nut Job, Gloria, Generation War, Like father Like Son, Maidentrip, big bad wolves, old goats, gimme shelter, stranger by the lake, mercedes sosa, 12 o clock boys, the tightrope.

I won’t see all of these and some I want to see more than others but it’s a decent starting place for January. I have to shift my focus here soon though… my last semester of classes starts tomorrow!

hsg

FINaLLY just saw The Hobbit (now I’m blogging out it- SOBER. My utterly nerdy Saturday night is well underway). We need to have a real discussion on Tauriel and all her glory because I hear there is some Tauriel hate going on and I can’t have that.

 

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I can’t have that because we all know the Hobbit franchise is about packing in the most adventurously elaborate story every created and not about honoring the Hobbit as it was originally written but about picking out the best parts (heh barrels) and adding in some entertaining elements and a super hot elf lady. Stop expecting the movies to be like the book. They aren’t like the book. They are like movies.

Side-note, I like to think that I can speak with real authority on the Hobbit for two key reasons. One is that I had a totally precious little white dog for 13 years who was legally named Gandalf The White Wizard Gockel by my 10 year old self (RIP my gorgeous little pup). also, when I was 13 I beat out all the boys for the role of Bilbo Baggins in our local children’s production of the Hobbit. I willingly glued hair to my feet and cut off my long actual hair while spending 10 weeks in rehearsal everyday. Each of our 6 shows sold out AND I got more than one standing ovation. I’m very proud of my nerdy teenaged self. 

anyway, point is I am a huge Hobbit nerd. So stop hating on Tauriel. The original hobbit is sickeningly devoid of female characters. Unfortunately the second in the franchise barely scrapes by a passing grade on the Bechdel test (there are four female characters and they. Two lady elves never talk and the two human sisters only exchange a “GET UNDER THE TABLE, TILDA!” moment when some orcs are attacking their home. Anyway, Tauriel is a refreshing super skilled fighter among a bunch of testosterone. Evangeline Lily is fantastic. 

In addition, TAURIEL’S HAIR IS MAGNIFICENT. Do observe:

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just absorb the intensity of her color.

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Tauriel is the voice of truth and righteousness, her hair is the voice of fierceness. 

Imageperfection

Imageher hair needs no direction.

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that’s why her hair is so long. it’s full of spider killing skills. 

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fierce

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she makes me wish i had a widow’s peak

Image her hair prepares for battle

Imageall hail Tauriel’s hair

 

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I rest my case.

 

I’m doing the American Hustle!

Hehehehe. I liked this movie. I like how much I hated Bradley Cooper’s character & how much I reveled in him getting what he deserves. I like how loathsomely unattractive Christian Bale got for this role. I love Jennifer Lawrence’s ability to embrace the selfish crazy of a bored, incapable housewife. I love Amy Adam’s not-crying acting chops & her character’s snappy business & interpersonal smarts throughout the film. Love it when she controls everyone around her while still showing vulnerability. 

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Go see it. Sneak in whiskey, appreciate the various hairstyles, the 70′s wardrobe, & settle in for a 3 hour adventure & leave day dreaming about becoming a top-tier con artist. 

People believe what they want to believe because the guy who made this was so good that it’s real to everybody. Now who’s the master, the painter or the forger?

Best & Worst Films of 2013!

My official list, in order of what I thought was the best & worst. Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

  1. 12 Years a Slave
  2. 20 Feet From Stardom
  3. Crystal Fairy and the Magic Cactus
  4. Stoker
  5. Blue Jasmine
  6. Spring breakers
  7. Romeo & Juliet
  8. Dallas Buyers Club
  9. Kill Your Darlings
  10. The Painting
  11. The Great Gatsby
  12. Blue is the Warmest Color
  13. Captain Phillips
  14. Prisoners
  15. Ginger & Rosa
  16. Gravity
  17. Mama
  18. Blackfish
  19. Catching Fire
  20. World War Z
  21. Elysium
  22. Warm bodies
  23. Lovelace
  24. Carrie 
  25. The Bling Ring 
  26. Monsters University
  27. An Oversimplification of her Beauty
  28. The Iceman
  29. Trance

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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A film that embraces the cliched cheesiness and absurdity of it’s own message to deliver a wildly entertaining & uplifting film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty follows the hard working story of a man (Ben Stiller, who also directed it!) who is pushed around by obnoxious superiors and gets lost in his daydreams of becoming the hero, the lover, and living an adventurous life. Mitty does not take chances, lives his life by organization, geometric shapes & predictable patterns. However, he himself is not boring at all. He has a successful career processing negative photography for the wise, globe-trotting Sean O’Conner (played by the ruggedly handsome Sean Penn). Mitty’s life work has been to bring O’Conner’s photography to life (literally- LIFE is the name of the magazine Mitty works for!)

Mr. Mitty also has a remarkable imagination & is prone to “zoning out,” during which the movie takes on hilarious action sequences or absurd love stories involving his crush, Cheryl Melhoff, shiningly played by the hilarious Kristen Wiig. Mitty’s vivid daydreams are in stark contrast to real-life; usually he’s too afraid to directly talk to Cheryl or stand up for himself against his new bully of a boss. People think Mitty is dumb for zoning out (I used to zone out all.the.time. when I was younger… until I got made fun of for it so I stopped X| ).

His trouble really starts when misplaced negative #25 incites a gripping and uncharacteristic adventure at the urging of his friend Cheryl. The story is as unlikely and fun as it is believable, weirdly enough. Who doesn’t like the idea of getting out of their comfort zone and having some crazy adventures?! Mitty’s adventures will delight you and inspire you.

The film has some clever product placement, making brands like eharmony.com and Papa John’s integral to the plot line. This aspect didn’t really bother me because these brands were so easily integrated (like, you would eat Cinnabon in an airport with a friend after getting back from a foreign country) that it just reflected how our lives are so deeply embedded with these brands. Plus, I appreciate clever advertising!

A large portion of the movie’s message is that our lives are so incorporated with the internet and social media, that we forget how to live offline. We forget how to live life moment to moment and savior those moments for ourselves and use those real moments to connect with others. Instead we spend out days telling others not face to face about the things we do. We’ve lost the focus on living, absorbing moments and not tryiing to profit off of them (either through money or attention). Thus we fail to fully realize our lives.

As life magazine adjusts to an online presence, the slogan “LIFE Online” might have been an exciting concept 10-15 years ago. but now it’s tired and our generation pushes back against the notion of social media & the digital age (an ironic message in a movie sponsored by eharmony.com). Of course the internet is a place to enhance areas of life by expanding knowledge and communities but it is also an entrapment, where one can get caught up while seeking for attention. It may be time to take a step back.

Last year, when my hooping video went viral, I became (even more) obsessed with the # of views and attention I received. I watched my online presence expand, I reveled in the praise and defended myself in my own head against the criticisms. It’s funny how the attention of thousands of strangers changes you. Thing is, when I made that video, it wasn’t with the intention of “going viral,” (although, ultimately, I’m very glad and thankful that it did. Doors have opened for me and I’ve learned a lot about myself because of this). I made the video because I connected passionately to the energy and message of a song (Oh Lord by Foxy Shazam) and wanted to create an expressive performance out of it. The energy is what people must’ve noticed.

However, despite the positives about this. The hula hoop community online is all about self-promotion. It’s an exhausting atmosphere to exist in. Everyone wants their art to be recognized and understandably so, but I feel myself losing my focus on being a better hoop artist when I try to self-promote.

My take-away from Walter Mitty is something I’ve known for a long time- I need to take a step back from my online presence, mainly on Facebook and regain my focus on my art.

After all, there are too many adventures waiting for me in the wider world.

Things that are truly beautiful don’t ask for attention.

- Sean O’Conner

Coffee shop and the livins easy

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You can change your life.

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