Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Trailer Reaction: Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Between Pennywise the dancing clown in Stephen King's IT and a reboot of DC's supervillain Joker, clowns are all the rage in Hollywood right now. But one version that broke out of the pack and revitalized the trend a few years ago was Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn in the critically panned Suicide Squad.

After a highly anticipated wait for her own solo flick, the trailer for Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn has finally dropped. The results are exciting and controversial, to say the least.

Here's a look at the trailer, some info of the plot and characters, and my own reaction. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Judy (2019) Is Simply Unforgettable

Biopics is one of the trickiest genres. Most authors or directors want to pay homage to someone they admire. But if a film exerts too much creative freedom, the story is more like fiction than reality. If it limits itself too much, reading a Wikipedia page would be more exciting. For an American icon like Judy Garland, there's more than enough exaggerated lore director Rupert Goold's Judy could've pulled from for his biopic. And yet for the first time since the last salacious profile was released, the film finds a good balance between exploring the myth of Judy and showing the real side of her.

Based on Peter Quilter’s play End of the Rainbow, Judy covers the last year of the legend's rollercoaster life. Facing homelessness, bankruptcy, and a custody battle for her children, Judy Garland (Renee Zellweger) takes on a five-week engagement of sold-out shows at London's Talk of the Town. As she grapples with one more comeback and falls head over heels for a sketchy entrepreneur Mickey Deans (Finn Witrock), Garland struggles to keep her head above water as her final spotlight starts burning out.

With all that has been gossiped about Miss Showbusiness, how a biopic would grapple with her legacy is a question I've asked myself as a longtime fan of "Joots." At worst, I expected a repeat of scathing tell-alls that are more concerned with melodrama and anonymous sources; so much so that they ignore her humanity and tarnish her reputation. At best, I just wanted it to be better or just as good as other musical biopics. A well-organized, entertaining, and emotionally-driven tribute doesn't seem like a lot to ask for, but the last time I wished for a biopic of a favorite icon, I got Bohemian Rhapsody... To  my great delight, the film hits most of the right notes.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Real Neat Blog Award


Big shout-out to Heather at Nerdy by Nature for nominating me for the Real Neat Blog Award. Heather covers her adventures in fandom, geeky subscription boxes, and book reviews. If you're not following her, make sure to check out her blog! Thanks Heather!

The ‘rules’ of the Real Neat Blog Award are to thank the person who nominated you, answer seven questions, nominate fellow bloggers, and ask new questions for others. So let's get started!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

My Love / Hate Relationship With It: Chapter Two (2019)

It's been two years since director Andy Muschietti's adapation of IT took the horror genre by storm. Fans have been craving, dreaming, and waiting for the second half of Stephen King's novel to finally wrap up The Losers Club's battle against Pennywise. In a weird twist of fate, the sequel combines enough elements from the book to be a faithful adaptation, but doesn't organize it enough to feel like a satisfying final chapter.

This review contains spoilers and flashing gifs- read at your own risk!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Epic News Breakdown From Disney's D23 Convention

D23 Marvel Disney Plus News
What San Diego Comic Con is to all things film franchises and comic books, D23 is to the future of Disney's theme parks, shows, and movies. As Marvel moves into its next phase after Avengers: Endgame, and Disney continues to dominate the film industry, lingering anticipation is an understatement for what's to come in the next few years.

Offering a conveyor belt of sneak previews and announcements, D23 delivered epic news for Disney Plus, upcoming Marvel projects, and the Star Wars franchise. Here's a breakdown of some of D23's biggest revelations. What are you the most excited for? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Lover (2019) Marks A New Beginning After A Winding Storm

Taylor Swift Lover Review
Very few artists in the music industry are known for their literal reputation. From a rising country star to a pop sensation, Taylor Swift became recognized for the drama – the men she was dating (or even seen with), feuds, the lack of using her voice in politics, and everything in between. Considering the number of records she’s broken and set, the awards she’s won, the genuine giving personality she’s known to have with her fans, her life in the public became more known than the music she was making.

Nothing could stop the apocalyptic summer of 2016, where her personal and professional life came to a head. Squeezed into a damn-if-she-did-damned-if-she-doesn’t corner, Swift reverbed the drama into her sixth album Reputation. A boisterous declaration against the black and white headlines, which spun opinions into facts and made no room for redemption, Swift simultaneously played into the persona of the witch getting burned as well as the torchbearer. Trying to regain some semblance of her career spiraling out of control, Reputation served all the rumors surrounding her image at that point up on snake-laden platter.

Despite fans recognizing that the Old Taylor was never literally dead, transitions between eras can sometimes lose fans along the way. Having become a bonafide Swiftie through Reputation, it’s hard to not be biased about its production and tone. A mix of angry and boisterous anthems, and vulnerable mellow confessions, it’s impossible to skip a track no matter how many times I’ve listened to it. But while watching the Reputation concert on Netflix the night before Lover released, I wondered if Taylor could handle losing the ‘swamp witch’ impression (as Taylor put it) and step into the daylight.

A long and winding career whirlwind, such as the one that Taylor endured, is not something most public figures – in film, music, or politics – emerge unscathed.

Except Taylor Swift.

And, this is where Lover comes in.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Geek, And You Shall Find (2019) Celebrates the Power of Superheroes Within

Geek, And You Shall Find (2019)
Superhero Faces Productions / Geek, And You Shall Find
Superman. Spider-Man. Captain America. Wonder Woman. These are just a few super-heroic characters who have become beloved icons for children and adults alike. From the famous Hall H at San Diego Comic Con to breaking box office records, it’s almost impossible to believe the arduous and inspiring evolution of geekdom. And yet, fandom not only started with the humble origins of comic books, but has also catapulted the way in which we navigate our everyday lives and the world around us.

Geek, and You Shall Find explores the fascinating past and future of comic books. Its creators and their stories have made a lasting impression on generations of readers, but where did it all start? How do the stories we love reflect society and vice versa? What can we truly gain from admiring characters that wear masks, don capes, and try to save their fellow man? Superhero Faces Productions journeys into the depths of Marvel, Westeros, Star Wars, and more to understand the life-changing impact behind our galaxy's biggest fandoms.

Starting with The Great Depression and the initial creation of Superman, Geek, and You Shall Find uncovers the rich history of beloved larger-than-life characters becoming an antidote and answer to society's greatest ordeals: war, racism, class disparity, immigration, and gender inequality. In speaking with the late Stan Lee, George R.R. Martin, Roy Thomas, and Kevin Eastman, the documentary examines the rise and challenges the comic book revolution has overcome and still faces. From censorship to international conflicts, comic books have not only withstood the test of time but also influenced reality far more than we could ever consider. Beyond the breaking down the timeline of how comic book creators imagined the fictional heroes we revere today, the film also implements Joseph Campbell’s heroes journey and how it mirrors our lives in mythological terms.

Drawing strength from comic books is no different than seeing ourselves in religious, historical, or public figures. Despite the fantastical or science-fiction approach to reflect the best and worst traits humans possess, comic books aren't often recognized as 'real' entertainment. When examining political issues, expanding inclusion, and challenging the status quo, the genre's critics are often the first to protest that 'serious' issues don't belong in their fandom. Outside of connecting with the genre's 'godfathers', the documentary also features creators standing up for what they believe in, psychologists  using comic books to help patients deal with trauma, and fans reaching out to each other for support and camaraderie. The worlds escape with on-screen and on the page prove to inspire real activism, practice compassion, and break barriers with their personal views.

As a self-proclaimed geek, it’s difficult to not find one area of my life that isn’t influenced by movies, books, or shows. When we connect with superheroes, Jedis, hobbits or wizards on their adventures, we become a part of their story and vice versa. Their ability to face against greedy corporations, evil masterminds, and stand up after being knocked down gives us strength to handle our own setbacks and victories. By participating in fandom over the years, I've grown out of my introverted cave to express my love of pop culture to write, cosplay, and try to inspire others to be the best that they can be. Comic books re-affirm what I love about fandom is as true and meaningful as I think it is for myself and fellow geeks as well.

Geek, and You Shall Find celebrates the rich history of storytelling in general and profound lessons and transformation comic books has on humanity. Superhero Faces Productions creates a positive affirmation about our unique passion for storytelling, and also invites those who don’t believe in the power of geek culture to reconsider. Their work maintains a wonderful balance of personalizing fandom from its roots to its present day success. We might not literally have spiderwebs shooting out of our wrists or take it to the streets against caped villains. But when we geek out, we are embracing a part of our identities in a whole new way and reminds us to embrace the superhero within.
Rating for the film: ★★★
Have you seen Geek, and You Shall Find? What do you think?

Please Note: I was provided with a screener in exchange for an honest review. Geek, and You Shall Find is available to watch on Amazon, Vudu, YouTube, and Google Play.