• Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched June 2021: TV and Movies

    Movies

    Skim watched The Big Sick. What am I missing? Why was this rated so highly? I have a tendency to assume that non Hallmark Rom Coms are better in quality (plot, acting, production), not just Hallmark with adult content, but well, some of them are just Hallmark with adult content and a bigger budget. And this one was a bad Hallmark with adult content (and wow, the f-bombs were just so gratuitous and delivered like homeschool children (or I assume any other very strictly brought up children) trying be bad.™ That delivery is not how people actually curse, especially seriously angry people.

    I skipped the stand up, couldn’t handle the cringe, but then the actual main story was also cringe and just so badly done in every way . . . and it was based on a real story. The main guy could. not. act. The main girl overacted. They had no chemistry. I couldn’t tell the age difference between the main couple, but wow, she acted so, SO childish, babyish even.

    The guy was in his 30’s, his parents didn’t seem at all formidable, he just seemed sneaky, indifferent, and selfish (you know, the stereotypical Peter Pan man) rather than conflicted about the cultural differences and trying to be respectful. Also, I couldn’t “get” the tone, the odd mixture of terrible attempts at humor and then the attempt at what I suppose it was supposed to be angst from the main guy on seriously dealing with his parents and his new culture (just felt like indifference thanks to his acting and the writing) and then the seriousness of the main girl’s illness. I didn’t find the humor fun, and neither the “angst” nor the seriousness of the illness situation believable.

    Also, humor on these kinds of cultural differences with arranged marriages and such are done 10 million times better by YouTwoTV). And cultural differences are shown in more real depth and sweetness in The Hundred Foot Journey. And I’ve heard of serious (real) difficulty with marriage norm differences from Sazan and Stevie Hendrix.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You Can’t Take it with You. This is a cute film (featuring Jimmy Stewart) about the rich boy who falls in love with a girl from a middle class quirky family.

    “Everybody’s got an ism these days . . . when things go a little bad nowadays, you go out and get yourself an -ism and you’re in business.”

    “Lincoln said ‘with malice toward none and charity toward all. Nowadays they say ‘think the way I do or I’ll bomb the daylights out of you.’ “

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Rewatched/skimmed 27 Dresses. I think this was the mainstream Rom-Com that first made me rethink my Rom-Com assumption mentioned above. It’s pretty Hallmark-y, but aside from skipping the drama, it’s cute and fun.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Watched, skimmed, and then dnf-ed This Means War. First, Oh. My. Stars. I forget just how sizzling Chris Pine was in his hey-day. Also, Tom Hardy always appeared big and formidable in the other things I’ve seen him in. But wow, he’s not, and he has the dorkiest voice, teeth, and smile.

    This movie has so many irritating tropes, that actually I think show up in real life, in the lives of bored, boring people who thrive on drama.

    I know he tends to play player, but this dude (Pine’s character) was more than a player, he was a jack***.  I was looking at reviews on IMDB and someone mentioned compared him to Kirk and how Kirk wasn’t the jerk this guy is. Which made me think about what the difference was. Kirk hit on Uhura in the bar and to a far lesser extent maybe once or twice later, but he was backing off, he knew she wasn’t interested, and he completely left her alone when he saw her and Spock together. He was a player yes, but he took up with girls just like him and respected the other ones.

    I was rooting for Tom Hardy’s character and that couple made sense. It made absolutely no sense for Pine’s character to go after this girl. Like other reviewers mentioned, she was not that special in a way for him to suddenly be monogamous. And he knew his friend was interested, and she’d turned him down already anyway. I felt in my gut how it would end up and spoiled it and quit watching.

    Witherspoon’s character was super annoying. At the beginning when she is just a simple nice girl, it makes sense for her to like Tom Hardy. Not an interesting couple or story or really strong characterization. But then they add guy number two with Pine and the absolute drivel of their “banter” with him trying to outwit her and prove his “depth” and her trying to outwit him and prove she is “badass.” None of this is believable. He’s a shallow womanizer, and she’s the dumb bimbo that falls for his unbelievable see through tactics. Also, her being unable to choose?!!! Seriously, if you can’t choose you don’t like either of them enough for a real relationship and if you can’t realize that and end it, then you are just as awful as the dude.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Yours Mine Ours 2005. This didn’t get super highly rated, however compared to the Cheaper by the Dozen movies (which dragged), it is much better. This is just a fun relaxing sort of cheesy heartwarming movie. Also it is funny how in our family we had about 3x the national average of kids and this family is 3x ours.

    “Great. Mom gets married and we get drafted.”

    “Will anyone who lives here, please raise your hand.” *Hands raise* “Anyone else remaining here after five minutes, will be forcibly conscripted into the United States Coast Guard!”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Yours Mine Ours 1968. I liked the new one and both are free on Amazon, why not watch the older one too? I think I preferred the newer one? But both are fun.

    “Frank, what’s wrong with you? You gonna be an old maid for the rest of  your life?”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The Courier (2020). Fascinating at first, but I got bored toward the end, and didn’t need to watch the gratuitously awful prison scenes so I skipped.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The Apartment (1960). Interesting at first, the main guy is such a sweetie although I wanted to slap him for being such a pushover. He deserved someone better. The movie made it out that she was going to be special too, but no, she falls for stupid, basic lies and stupid basic guys.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    TV

    Finished skim watching The Durrells.

    Started Endeavor. These were interesting at first (skipped his “relationship” drama, can’t stand manufactured drama), but they got sillier and soapier and just too violent and so many deaths. Also it made me scared and jumpy at night (and gave me bad dreams which doesn’t usually happen) and guilty for watching it. This is the first crime or mystery show I’ve watched in my apartment as well which possibly contributed.

    I’m always surprised by British shows or movies that scare me as America is more violent, and I feel that our content is as well. But I think I’m surprised by this violence because:

    1. I assume British mysteries set in older times are going to be all Agatha Christie-ish
    2. I forget that I avoid all the more scary American crime shows (or the real crime shows, I think what I watch is mysteries).
    3. Then I forget that the less scary ones can scare me too, there is one episode of Monk that comes back to haunt me from time to time. And I skipped the serial killer episodes of Psych the last time around. The only other US crime show I really got into was Castle which was scarier. Oh wait, I also got scared by Hallmark mysteries . . .
    4. So why do I watch these again?
  • Culture and Entertainment

    Mystery Blogger Award

    What is the first pairing you remember shipping?
    Hmm, maybe Heidi and Peter from the 1980’s Heidi, but then I also had a crush on Peter myself. That at least was one of my earliest shippings.
     
    What is the weirdest, most unusual, or one-of-a-kind thing you own?
    Trying to catalog things I own in my head . . . I can’t think of anything unusual, but I have vintage clothes (don’t fit into them, but determined to eventually), all 70’s styles. I also bought some dresses from India on eBay, from this shop. I just found it randomly, and I’m going to have to get a few more for fall (I’d seen similar vintage styles on etsy, but these are new and a fraction of the cost).
    Here’s the one I wore for Easter. I love, love medium purple, and it’s hard to find these shades, especially in florals. It’s so light and flowy. I like the prairie/70’s revival/cottacore styles trending now, but I don’t like pale, warm tones they have. This is a nice 70’s feel with more of a boho vibe.
     
    If you had a surprise birthday being thrown for you, what are 3 fictional characters you would want to be there and why? or (What fictional character would you pull a prank on someone with?)
    I’d like to watch Jack Sparrow pull a prank, a shenanigan, anything.
     
    If you could steal a costume or an outfit from a show/movie, which one would you take?
    Hmm, I’ve been really into the glamourous 30’s and 40’s gowns from My Man Godfrey, Holiday, and the Thin Man Mysteries. I’ve not seen The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, but I’ve seen the golden yellow silk dress, and I want it, but in maybe a blush or teal or maybe lemon yellow. The style, the buttons the silk, all soooo lovely.
    What was the last line in a book, line in a movie, or lyric in a song that hit you hard?
    Well, knowing me, it won’t be anything deep and meaningful, not that there aren’t those lines I like (I need to maybe get better and saving and organizing them, I usually just start a convoluted essay of my opinions that such quotes prompt), I’m just sure humorous ones are the ones I have most recently saved. I used my Kindle to find one, its from Mill on the Floss, a book I’m supposed to be currently reading.
    “Mr. Tulliver was on the whole a man of safe traditional opinions; but on one or two points he had trusted to his unassisted intellect and had arrived at several questionable conclusions, among the rest, that rats, weevils, and lawyers were created by Old Harry.”
    Profound, innit?
  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched in February 2021

    New to Me Movies

    While You Were Sleeping. Eh.

    Cheaper by the Dozen 1 and 2. Eh . . . except Tom Welling is so handsome (and I can say that, he was in his twenties), maybe I should watch Smallville . . .

    Ramona and Beezus. Super cute, and I teared up. This is one of those movies that really gets kids, sees through their eyes and emotions rather than showing them as one dimensional little brats (although, honestly some of them are). Such a cute family story.

    Rewatch

    Miracle. 3rd watch, SUCH a good movie. The real story is fascinating (Mom and Dad remember this), the acting, the cinematographic, the dialogue, the emotions, the sport details. Oh, and lots of handsome guys. Let’s be real that is a huge reason I joined in the first time, and then got the real treat of the entire movie.

    The Magic of Ordinary Days. Hallmark Hall of Fame (don’t confuse this with the fluff that is on nowadays). SO sweet, so interesting, touches on so many different details of the time period so compassionately. And her outfits, can I have them all?!!!

    TV

    WandaVision. I went into this blind which I highly recommend. I was a bit bewildered at the beginning, then fascinated, I loved the time period changes. Then with Agatha we took a turn into Wicked and then I guess the Blair Witch project. Okay, and I don’t like Wanda being in the wrong, but she wasn’t initially. I just wished that could be handled beter.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Heidi’s Valentine’s Day Period Drama Party Tag

    I’m joining here: Heidi’s Valentine’s Day Period Drama Party Tag.

    1) Your current three (or up to five!) favorite period dramas?

    Does Cinderella 2012 count? Ever After is an evergreen favorite. I honestly feel that I’ve worn all the other ones (the Jane Austen adaptations) out with over watching, and I’ve not found anything new that I love yet. The Importance of Being Ernest. The Scarlet PimpernelThe Inheritance.

    I need to watch some versions beyond the basic Bronte, Austen, and Dickens.

    2) What would you recommend to someone who’s never seen a period drama as a starter?

    Ever After. It’s fairytale and period drama and rom com in one, I think it ticks a lot of boxes.

    3) A favorite couple that wouldn’t be included in answer #1 (cause I’m figuring those are already top favorites ;)) and/or a favorite secondary character romance?

    Arthur and Amy in Little Dorrit. 

    Secondary character romances always just add that extra depth and sparkle to a story. I love that the nicer stepsister in Ever After gets her own romance.

    4) What do you consider foundational qualities for a healthy romance?

    Honesty, authenticity (i.e. generally the same in all situations, no one is playing any games, playing hot and cold). Trust. Pursuing interest genuinely (i.e. not dating/playing around or “trying to make up my mind” . . . or flirting to hide a previous attachment or marriage!). Communication (not jumping to conclusions, if the loved one is in a compromising situation, the other would go and honestly ask rather than assume the worst). Forgiveness (you know, not staying out at sea sulking because one was rejected several years before).

    5) Worst villain/antagonist?

    The disgusting would be rapist Pierre le Pieu from Ever After. I think he doesn’t always come to mind, because I try not to dwell on him, he’s so, so vile, actually I think I leave during his parts during recent watches.

    6) A favorite proposal scene?

    the 2007 Persuasion which blends BOTH of Jane Austen’s endings, granted it also includes the most awkward kiss and camera angles to be seen in a period drama. But Wentworth’s letter!

    Also, I don’t know if this is a proposal scene exactly, I think it’s more a profession of love, but that scene in the carriage in Belle, with John shouting, “I love her, I love her!” at Belle’s guardian/father when his intentions are questioned. I think that might have gotten or almost gotten tears from me, which has been rather hard to do.

    Now, if some one could get John Brooke’s proposal to Meg right! I think one of the older version’s gave it some justice, but I haven’t seen that one in ages.

    7) Favorite period drama characters based on a real life couple?

    I don’t think I’ve seen any real life period dramas, oh, wait some about Queen Elizabeth’s father. Yeah, I think that is it. Not really anything romantic. Oh, wait I like the romance in Miss Potter.

    8) Any classic b/w period dramas you like?

    Well, I don’t think we’d have the Anthony Andrews Scarlet Pimpernel without the Leslie Howard one. I wouldn’t say I liked it other than that inspiration for the best Scarlet Pimpernel. I’m not sure what other b/w period dramas I’ve seen. Oh, Jane Eyre, that definitely matched the atmosphere of Jane Eyre, again, not really to my liking though.

    9) Most mature romance in a period drama? (mature as in age and/or characters who are consciously and wisely ripened by life experience, etc.)

    Probably the Westons. I can’t really think of any more main couples. There are plenty with the guy older but they don’t feel very mature always when the girl is younger. Oh, wait, I love the Hamiltons in The Inheritance.

    10) Most excruciatingly long, slow burn romance in a period drama?

    I know Captain Wentworth and Anne feature a lot in this questions, but their story is so fraught with complications and details and intensity! Arthur and Amy also fit this.

    11) A story that has multiple film adaptations where you love more than one of them?

    I started out preferring the Kate Beckinsale/Mark Strong version of Emma (I HATE the Gweneth Paltrow version) but eventually the 2008 version won over. Kate Beckinsale is by FAR the most accurate Emma. I’ve yet to see the new abomination Emma.

    I think I enjoy different aspects of different Jane Eyre’s (as much as I could seeing as how I don’t love that story). I’ve yet to see the Timothy Dalton one.

    12) A book you think needs to be made into a film (or a new adaptation)?

    I wish more of the Alcott and Montgomery novels were adapted (but only by people who strive for accuracy on every point!).

  • Reading

    Boy-Crazy vs Intellectual: Another False Dichotomy Pet-Peeve

    One can be man-crazy (or comparatively so) and not let that ruin one’s life. It can be a part. Certainly there are girls/women who seem to have few interests if not only this one, and this man-crazy features largely, and it is crazy and toxic and they are blind to type of guys they end up with because they have no standards, just any man they find attractive will do. But I think like many another stereotype people lazily use this against women who maybe are more interested in guys in general than they are, but who have plenty of other interests and who don’t let that one interest run their brain (or completely run it).

    It is hard to explain. I just feel like I often really watch movies because of super-attractive guys and that other girls are looking for strong women characters, and I’m like, why? I want him.

    That sounds so shallow, and I can talk about other aspects of the movie, I do want the overall movie and plot to be appealing to me, its not only external looks that I like either, I like both and thank you very much. I think this issue comes out a lot or primarily in the superhero or hero type movies. I just don’t care for female superheroes; I want to see the guys, I don’t want to be a female super hero.

    Oh, and like all the other false dichotomies I wrote about (over a year ago?), not being boy crazy or man crazy or whatever does not equal intellectualism. One can be stupid and not boy crazy. One can be “boy crazy” and still appreciate other aspects of the plot. I’m not going to love a stupid movie simply because it has a handsome man in it, but I am going to enjoy a good one a whole lot better if it does.

    I think it’s similar with romance in books. I actually don’t think I’ve really read or like liked pure romance novels, books with the genre of romance, but all my favorite books feature romance as a significant part. It’s like with humor, I need several ingredients to stories, and in movies and tv a man I find attractive in person and personality is one of them (in books obviously its the personality).

  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: December 2020

    This is very ’90’s early ‘0’s and Star Wars heavy. I of course watched plenty of Hallmark, but it peters out towards Christmas when one has been overdosing since November. I started using my Disney+ more this month than I did in November.

    Friends. I think I was still rewatching bits of Friends during my week long HBO trial.

    I’ll Be Home for Christmas. I think I saw the last bit of this movie years ago. I think I was surrounded by Jonathan Taylor Thomas growing up without having seen any live action movie he was in. Its been so long since I’ve seen The Lion King (need to rewatch that while I still have Disney+), that his voice didn’t trigger memories, he just looked familiar in that 90’s ’00’s way.

    10 Things I Hate About You. Rewatch. Again, ’90’s vibes and nostalgia, I was too young to have watched this anyway when it came out. But all the teens and tween around me growing up would have dressed like this. There is just familiarity in movies of this period even though I only have seen them recently.

    Solo: A Star Wars Story. This is NOT Han Solo. Also, way to make Lando look like an sulky idiot . . . that droid part, what the freaking what?! Han and Lando were both supposed to be that jaunty, bad boy, devil may care types. And sorry those types don’t spring from the non-entity (in the former case) and goof (in the latter case) types. Besides the script, I don’t like the casting for Han, but they could have given Glover a far better chance to shine, he had some good parts, it’s just the whole movie was so, well, blah (and that robot part, what the f people?!).

    The Mandalorian season two, I’d dragged my feet on watching The Clone Wars and Rebels and just went ahead and finished the Mandalorian. Luke’s appearance signified that they are dropping the non-canon absolutely absurd newest films. Glory hallelujah, I enjoyed aspects of them, but sorry, they ain’t Star Wars or rather they are Star Wars lazily and terribly repackaged.

    The Clone Wars. I love these, I love these, I love these! THIS is Star Wars at it’s full potential, this is the real, true stuff. I officially fell into true Star Wars fan with these, and it makes me understand the fury of the original og people at the absurdly lazily written new movies. I turned to these as something to watch while I worked on last minutes presents, and then I was sucked in and watched them on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

    I wish I’d watched the Clone Wars and Rebels before I finished The Mandalorian, it would have made the appearance of Bo Katan (presumably, I haven’t yet watched Rebels) and Asoka Tano SO much more significant, especially the latter, I saw she was in Clones, but that was just a slight thing, I knew nothing of the series, she could have been one of many random characters . . . then I actually watched it, and she’s Anakin’s padawan! I didn’t like her for the first few episodes but then it got better, so much better, I love the older brother/younger sister dynamic.3

    This show, oh, my stars, its SO cool, it so much better than the movies. And guys, Anakin is COOL in this, so cool. Not the whiny pretty boy he is in the movies. And oh, oh, it makes me so much more upset that he becomes Vader, I relate to his attitude so much.

    Also, his back and forth with Obi Wan is great. I remember I wanted to punch Obi Wan for his pompous legalistic rule following attitude and total lack of empathy for Anakin in the live action, I felt that he was partially responsible for driving Anakin away, that he wasn’t being a good mentor at all.

    Also, you want strong female Jedi, look to The Clone Wars. These are talented, TRAINED Jedi, same as the men, not Mary Sue’s like Rey was, sorry, you don’t just hope in, no training required.

    However, it bothers me that the “good” guys are producing clone armies of living humans while the “bad” guys are producing non-living drones. So who is getting more killed really? Lambs to be slaughtered is what it feels like the Republic is doing.

    The ’90’s and early ’00’s nostalgia is strong for me right now. I wasn’t allowed to watch anything I’m watching now or I freaked out (in the case of the Star Wars prequels), but I was surrounded by merchandise and advertisements and little bits of shows and previews and the styles, so a lot of things I don’t “know” have that vibe which I recognize.

    I was 8 when the first and 14 when the last prequel came out, so I was surrounded by prequels stuff. I feel like there is just so much vying for attention now, I don’t think the dominance of the prequels then can be compared to anything now. I think this is part of why I SO love The Clone Wars, it takes me back to what I was surrounded by growing up without the disappointment those movies actually turned out to be watching as an adult.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Attitudes Toward War Exemplified in Friendly Persuasion

    Earlier this years, something in the Speaking with Joy Chesterton episode with Boze Herrington triggered me to think about the topics pacifism/just war/protection in Friendly Persuasion (I love this film, it is so sweet and homey and unexpectedly deep) with actors Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, and Anthony Perkins. It centers around a Quaker family in Southern Indiana during the Civil War. It is not mainly a war film, but the war is significant because of the call of volunteers and the ravaging Rebels coming over from Kentucky combined with the Quaker stance of pacifism. In thinking over this issue, I realized you could really see many different views towards war in the film.

    • Militant pacifism in the mother. She is self-righteous and unrelenting in her total pacifism and her judgement towards those who think differently, even in the face of her son trying to fit his conscience to a nation at odds with itself and his conscience. She doesn’t exactly relent, but I think she soften towards others some.

    • Gracious pacifism in the father. He is steadfast in her total pacifism but understands that others do not feel the same, like his farm laborer who is a former slave, and his son, who he understands is wrestling with various commands in the Bible and his conscience and the state of his nation.

    • Conflicted pacifism in Josh (I’m started to sometimes swing closer towards here, not here, but close; however, like with many things I’m a pendulum) (also, I looooove Josh). He knows and respects his parents beliefs and has made some of them his own, he seems to definitely prefer pacifism and peace, and he doesn’t want to kill or have hate in his heart, but he doesn’t think that watching innocent people get killed is right either.

    • Traditional honorable just war view held graciously by Guard (where I traditionally fall) (also, I looooove Guard). To Guard, it is simple the war is just, the Rebels are wrong, he sees it as his duty to fight and lead and does so honorably. He goes away to war, he leads the ragtaggle group of farmers protecting the farms against raiders, he swiftly calls to order the person who gives out the Rebel yell who is spoiling for war and who jeopardizes their position by the noise and scaring the other volunteers with the yell. He doesn’t shame the Quakers for thinking differently from him. I don’t feel he pushes Josh anymore than Josh’s father does, and certainly less than Josh’s mother.

    • Selfish Hypocrite in the Quaker Purdy who claims pacifism when it benefits him and revengeful violence when it benefits him.

    • Warmonger in the Rebs ravaging the country-side as well as the farmer volunteer who gave out Rebel yell.

    All of this is portrayed so well. Any preaching is real preaching in the story, not preaching from the script to the film watchers. The thoughts and discussions and dilemmas feel real and intense. And this isn’t even the only theme of the story. Oh, this is SUCH a good movie.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Laughter: Screen Rant Pitch Meetings

    Y’all, after I schedule this, I will have under 30 drafts! I started out with over 80!

    So, this channel has over 7 million, but I only this year discovered this hilarious series.

    Mulan. The part about “removing all the fun stuff,” yeah, that was basically my view of Mulan. I thought it at least was supposed to based on history, and more culturally accurate, HA, apparently there are also videos critiquing that. Yeah, I decided not to waste my time, I don’t like the animated except for the fun stuff which they disappeared, I saw bit while I was eating and my sisters were watching, but yeah, I’ll pass.

    Hunger Games.

    “Well there is not really any food in the district, so by the way the actors are gonna have to look skinny and malnourished, and well, hungry.”
    “Okay, would you settle for having beautiful, well-fed actors that are in terrific shape?”

    Harry Potter.

    “Voldemort’s going to plan something evil every year, in the spring.”
    “Nice of him to keep the school schedule like that.”

    “I’ll be honest, that plan sounds super inconvenient  . . . seems like there would be an easier way to get that done especially with magic being a thing.”
    “Yeah, well that’s going to kind of be a theme in these movies . . . well, we’re gonna establish some magical things that would solve a lot of problems but then the character aren’t going to use them.” Bahahahaha!

    Beauty and the Beast. The servants getting a worse punishment than the prince . . . Also. This:

    “This all takes place in provincial France, so you’re going to have to find a bunch of you know British actors.”
    “Don’t you need them to French accents, cause I can get French actors?”
    “No, they should be British and speak with British accents. They can also be American, but they have to speak with British accents.”

    This logic brings the Scarlet Pimpernel to mind . . .

  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: November 2020

    Edited 12/27/20. Um, so I left off several things I watched because I didn’t look at the list I was keeping.

    An Inspecter Calls. I can’t recommend this to everyone, its very dark, very dark and hopeless, doesn’t end well. I don’t really agree with the social portrayal, its far too simplistic and takes agency away from one character. However, I did tell one of my sisters that it seemed to be quite her style, she likes depressing stories. She said she was a first offended that I said she’d like it, and then by the end realized, yes this is her type of thing.

    The Lady Vanishes, the newest version. I greatly enjoyed this. Why I like a certain level of scary mystery and dislike much else dark, I have no idea, perhaps because vintage style mysteries often don’t have sympathetic victims and the bad guys are always caught and dealt with?

    Gosforth Park. Don’t recommend, nasty is the best way to describe it, like a sort of less nasty, less dark version of that abomination Penhallow I read earlier this year. I should have stopped watching it. I discovered later that Julian Fellows made this, and Downton Abbey was supposed to be the follow up to this. That enlightened me a bit, DA made be feel a bit nasty, it has nothing on this.

    I watched Clueless again I think.

    The Final Fix. This is a hard watch (also, warning, someone dies, I’m not sure exactly why I was shocked considering the subject matter, I guess I was shocked because it was included, like this is real people, not a movie, although it’s not like they had control over that), but it is very important. It deals with an potentially life altering and societal altering treatment for opioid addiction that mainstream medicine has been ignoring for decades (per the film).

    The Mandalorian. I’m behind now (so no spoilers!) because I really need to watch Rebels and Clone Wars, because characters from there are starting to be introduced. So, baby Yoda isn’t so cute now. I could barely watch that episode. We were talking about it, and my brother was like, “yeah, we knew you’d hate that episode.” I think I’m behind two episodes now, I think I need to watch Rebels and Clone Wars first.

    Lots of Hallmark (both channels, some new, some old). Christmas in Vienna (the best?!), On the 12th Date of Christmas, The Perfect Christmas Gift, Five Star Christmas, Timeless ChristmasGood Morning Christmas, A Nashville Christmas Carol, The Angel TreeWe watched more, but these were the best, not sure how to rank, tried to rank in order. I would watch the first view again (I have watched Christmas in Vienna again). None of them have the same sparkle, quality, depth of the older and up to maybe 2016 group. I’d dropped off keeping track, but I don’t think there really have been any that would make my list recently.

    Rewatched The Princess Diaries again. Oh, that is SUCH a comfort film. One of the few live action films that I have nostalgia for (because we didn’t watch much until we were older). I think I saw this at 10 or 11.

    Rewatched lots of Friends sections, someday I will make myself sit through every minute of every episode.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Endgame

    I wrote this after watching Endgame what was, it a year, two years ago? I have a problem with delayed responses to movies, I wrote this list out and then delayed writing it out into a real review, but since I’ve already done this, and I don’t like deleting things, I’ll try to brush it up a bit.

    • Brought back all the Clintasha chemistry, since there are so many iterations in the comics this is cannon as is Cap Am romance, not sure on that weird Hulk bit, ( but neither of those other flings felt like this), I mean I don’t love the characters, but I love them together. I love Katie’s theory about how he was married before he met her, because y’all, no WAY would he have married anyone else after meeting her.
    • Honorable hero duo Thor/Cap and the long-forgotten movement of the hammer. I knew it would be Thor!
    • Thor, oh, my stars. A scream. Definitely rounded out the movie. However, I do prefer handsome Thor (he looks his best in Ragnarok).
    • Rodey’s lines.
    • Cap and Peggy
    • Nat and Tony’s character arcs, two characters that can really get under my skin
    • Not too much of Cap M
    • Scott Lang’s arrival back: I think the fact that I didn’t know his story made this part even more poignant than it already was. I greatly disliked him in Civil War, but in this movie he intrigued me enough to watch his movies, which I greatly enjoyed.
    • So many awesome entrances
    • Hilarious music
    • Perfectly timed humor
    • The whole plan
    • Peter’s preciousness
    • I love almost every major character, even the ones who’ve previously and still annoyed me
    • I did wish there was more Bucky
  • Culture and Entertainment

    Disney Live Action Opinions

    I’m going to try to see if I can really clear out my drafts. I have 40+ I think, plus all my random word documents with opinions and Evernote notes. I think I’d like to post more because I clearly have a lot to say, albeit possibly lots of repetitive things, not super immediately, because I’ll always regret my hastiness, but on the weekend, when I have time to think things through. I also don’t think everything has to be super polished, and I think that often when I try anyway I get tangled up in my words, so it ends up making less sense anyway.

    Anyway, this draft is composed of two long comments in response to Disney posts.

    This post by Eva.

    I think fairytales/Disney and remakes involve, to say the least (not in order of importance)
    1) Nostalgia or lack
    2) The major fairytale plotline (or lack) and Whether the person prefers one plotline before another
    3) The quality of the remake in several areas, song/sound/music quality, plot quality (improving or flattening, adding or distracting) plus the person’s personal preference in that area
    4) Whether the promotion of the remake had an effect.

    This is going to be a huge comment (probably will make it into a post). I love discussions like this, that promote analysis of movies, books, etc.

    For reference I grew up watching Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast a lot. Aladdin a few times. I adored the Cinderella remake, one of my favorite movies of all time. Beauty and the the Beast was a let-down. Aladdin was a surprise like.

    I think nostalgia can play a part in how much you like childhood favorites, like some movies (or books) seem to almost “need” to be watched in childhood to understand all the love. But I don’t think this necessarily means one will always love the film as an adult or will never love the film as an adult. I don’t think I LOVE my childhood favorites in the same way or rather am not obsessed (sometimes it might have been obsession not love, I was one for constantly rewatching). I haven’t seen some in years. I saw Tangled (came out during my adulthood) as an adult and loved it. I saw Tarzan (came out during my childhood) as an adult and loved it.

    A lot of the “original” films were based on (highly romanticized) fairytales or literature in the case of Lion King, Hamlet, and Aladdin Arabian Nights e.g. they already had time-tested plots. Some people may just prefer (stripping away all other elements for the moment) some plots to others. For example, I for one, think I just really love a Cinderella plot line over Beauty and the Beast. In other cases, the outworking of the plot may affect the preference of the movie, perhaps in cases where the person doesn’t have strong feelings for the original fairytale plotline.

    I grew up on Beauty and the Beast. But I think that maybe my love was childish/nostalgic mainly, i.e. I don’t overall love the plotline as much and don’t love it quite as much now? I don’t know, I just felt my much younger sisters loved it so much more than me. So, I don’t think I had the “oh, no, my favorite must be perfect.” I just am a stickler for excellent adaptations. And here is where things really mess with me.

    Plot-line wise, I have an innate preference for Cinderella over Beauty and the Beast period. Then the filmmakers in adding changing to the plot-line in Beauty and the Beast remake, took it in directions I didn’t care for both in preference and in quality.

    The promotion. I am FAR better off, having low-zero expectations. Cinderella was not over-hyped. Beauty and the Beast was. That is NOT the only reason, I loved the first and didn’t care overmuch for the second. I think the promotion was in direct opposite proportion to the quality.

    Those who produced Cinderella seemed to not focus on fanfare to the detriment of the quality while those who produced Beauty and the Beast did. And um, Kenneth Brannagh produced Cinderella and that shows to me, and the Twilight producer did Beauty and the Beast, and I think that shows. For me, it’s not a nostalgia thing, it’s both my plot preference and what I consider quality.

    For Aladdin, I don’t care for the original one much, and I thought I wouldn’t care for this, but I was surprised and liked it. And the same time, I still thought that it had some quality issues. But because I didn’t love it and wasn’t tied to loving it, I think my expectations played a far larger factor in my overall liking for it?

    This post by Katie.

    I don’t know about bitter, I think it might be high expectations or unmet expectations or complete changes of “remakes” or things that don’t work well.

    I grew up on Disney, I don’t see live-action as true remakes, but sort of a companion version. But I do expect them to be good movies, and live-action entails some different artistic standards, I think.

    Also, Hollywood is really not using originality for a LOT of movies lately, and I think remakes are an example, the amount is excessive. When a couple movies are remade or when one creative decision is chosen, the all other movies follow suit whether or not it makes creative sense and without tailoring to the specific movie, like when the Deathly Hallows was split into 2 (an excellent choice for movie, the books had so much) every other major series did even the ones with little enough material for one movie. I just feel like $$$$$ is the motivation rather than inspiration and art for too high a proportion of movies . . . like with all this extra Harry Potter stuff.

    I ADORED the Cinderella 2015, I felt that it ticked every fairytale romance box and fit in well in with the original animated and Ever After, all versions of the same story, all artistically good/excellent in different ways. I didn’t adore Beauty and the Beast, I enjoyed parts and while that isn’t my favorite fairytale for one thing, I still think it fell short, as a movie, as a musical, and as a remake.

    As for Frozen, I think I loved Tangled so much it just felt flat (the hype hadn’t hit yet). I don’t dislike it (the hype that caused me to shudder every time it was mentioned), I just don’t find much joy in watching it, its missing the salt for me. Similar with Moana. Those three I watched as an adult, as a kid, I would imagine I would’ve liked them all.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: September and October 2020

    I forgot to do a movie round up for September and since I’ve not really been watching much I thought I put September and October together.

    September

    What a Girl Wants. I needed a nice, fluffy funny film, and this delivered, especially a certain hilarious scene with Colin Firth dancing in front of the mirror, especially since Colin Firth always plays a variation of the same character: an emotionally constipated somewhat priggish Brit.

    “No hugs dear, I’m British, we only show affection to dogs and horses.”

    I believe I also started Oh My Venus, my first K-drama, I didn’t realize it is more like a series not a movie, so I didn’t get very far, and I’ve restarted my Hulu subscription, so I’m watching it again this month, and I’m halfway through now I think. I at first thought it dragged and was rather bewildered, but then the super funny stuff started happening.

    October

    Jumanjii 2. I haven’t seen any Jumanjii’s until we watched this on a sibling movie night. I was screaming with laughter, I will definitely have to watch the first one. Kevin Hart was a scream, my sister said she thought he was best in this one and that Jack Black was the best in the first remake. I need to watch the first one soon.

    Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Eh, after Some Like it Hot, this is really tame.

    Twelve Angry Men. Wow. wow. wow. Everyone, and I mean everyone should watch this. If you don’t know much about it, don’t learn anything, just go into it without learning, it packs its punch stronger that way.

    Youtube

    I learned about Darling Desi on Youtube from this post by Hannah of Literary Morning, but I really started watching the videos when she started doing her fall videos, talk of atmospheric, they are SO fun and inspiring! This channel is so unique. I’ve already watched two of the movies she mentioned on her mysteries video.

    Lauren Johnson has lots of fall sewing and craft videos, and I just love her aesthetic. I first found out about the glorious Rifle Paper company through her.