Thursday, July 19, 2018

Love, Simon (2018) Is More Than A Coming-Of-Age Story

Everyone deserves a love story, but cinema has been slow in letting everyone share their affection for others. Based on the best-selling book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Love, Simon is one of the most refreshing romantic dramedies in a long time.

Simon is gay. But nobody knows it yet. One evening, the gossip site for his high school tips off the community that someone is secretly gay but hasn't revealed their sexual identity yet. In a bid to ward off any attention, he anonymously shares his story of fears and worries about coming out, and begins a penpal relationship with "Blue" - another kid at school who's in the same position he is. When a nosy theatre nerd finds out Simon's secret and promises it'll stay so if he's hooked up with one of Simon's friends, Simon does everything he can to help him while sorting out his feelings.

Though I haven't read the best-selling book yet, the adaptation proves to be a hit on its own. Given how many young adult franchises just don't capture the attention like they used, and films representing the gay youth experience are becoming more seen than ever, Love, Simon is an enjoyable, important coming out of age movie.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Where Are All The It Girls of 2018? (And Here Are My Top Five)

The It Girls of 2018
The label It Girl is a complicated one. Originating in the 1920s, Clara Bow was a young up-and-coming actress who captivated audiences on-screen with her looks, vulnerability, style, and talent to become one of Hollywood's earliest icons. In one year, she made twenty-five movies, and was eventually dubbed the first It Girl, the simple definition of which is a woman with a magnetic personality and/or sex appeal. Despite becoming an instant sensation, her work and unique charisma from the silent film era continues to live on and inspire.

Over the years, It Girl has often come to mean something else; a way of noticing women for their fifteen minutes of fame regardless of the industry in film, television, music, or fashion; treating them more as a promoted trend than a natural force to be reckoned with. It became less about celebrating actresses who rose from indies or obscurity to entertain and enlighten, and more of who could be more gif-worthy in interviews and on the red carpet. Most recently, Hollywood used the the term to peg rising stars Brie Larson, Emma Stone, Lupita N'Yongo, and Jennifer Lawrence as they captured the audience's and media's attention with their talent, personality, and range on-screen. Yet just as fast as they took over film, magazine covers, and social media, the celebration of a woman or women taking over Tinseltown slipped quietly out of the spotlight, rarely to be used again since.

This suddenly made me ask: What happened to all the It Girls? Granted, the answer arrived pretty easily: The past six months in Hollywood alone from the #TimesUp and #MeToo movement, and the political warfare making waves around the world, have paved the way for more important issues. (And comparatively, there is no It Bro putting actors on a pedestal, is there?.) The glamorous side of Hollywood isn't the first thing on most people's minds right now when it constantly feels like the world is in peril.

Though I shirk at the idea of singling out actresses over others in a superficial game of Who-Is-Better-or-More-Famous, I also look forward to the inspiring success newer actresses have created by breaking out on-screen or out of the mold. It is refreshing to see fresh faces pave the way for themselves and imagine where their careers will be in the future. As 2018 is almost halfway over, powerful actresses have continued to slay on-screen but haven't been offered the spotlight as they have in the past. This still made me want to share my top five favorite bad-ass It Girls for 2018 in the hopes that you're inspired to check them out and see what they have going on. 'Cause they are slaying Tinseltown right now (and for the foreseeable future).

What actresses or actors are onto big things this year? Whose work should I check out? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) Makes Superhero Movies Feel Good Again

Ant-Man and the Wasp movie review
Since Avengers: Infinity War left us in an exhausted heap of feels, Marvel offered their least suspected characters to cleanse our palate after everything changed with a snap of Thanos's figures. Surprisingly, against the odds that one of the Avengers' smallest heroes could fill in the summer gap, that's exactly what Ant-Man and the Wasp does: pick up the pieces from Infinity War's devastating wake and gear us up for the next leg in the Avengers' recovery with Captain Marvel in 2019.

Starting where we left off in Ant-Man, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lily) have rekindled their relationship and are determined to return to the quantum realm to find their long-lost matriarch Janet (Michelle Pfieffer). However, in the two years since Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) sided with Captain America in Captain America: Civil War to fight Iron Man over the Accords, he made a plea deal and was put on house-arrest to avoid going to jail. Brought in to help Hank and Hope on their quest, they're on the run from the FBI, and together, they must race against time and a new form of Ant-Man called the Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) who is hellbent on stealing their new quantum technology.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Ranking All of the Oceans Movies

Ranking the Oceans Franchise
In 1960, The Rat Pack united to knock over a few casinos in Las Vegas. Over sixty years later, rebooted by director Steven Soderbergh, the classic has turned into a mini-franchise starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon. While it's not the most popular series out there, the Oceans movie has been fun to watch develop over the years, especially with the new spin-off Ocean's Eight. How does the movies compare? Rating the series so far from least favorite to favorite, here's my ranking of all the Ocean's movies so far. Which one do you think is the best or worst? I'd love to know your thoughts!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Stars I Love: Sam Claflin

Sam Claflin Glamour UK photographer Matt Holyoak
Glamour UK / Matt Holyoak
Many male stars starting out in Hollywood are known for their pretty faces and washboard abs. That's actually how Australian native Sam Claflin spent his early days in some of the biggest franchises like a lovestruck rebel in Pirates of the Caribbean and Snow White's childhood friend William in Snow White and the Huntsman. In 2013, he hit the jackpot as Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games, which is one of my favorite book characters, and it's been fascinating to see his career grow over the past five years.

One of my favorite qualities about Claflin is that I never know where he is going to turn up next and I always forget what I've seen him in before - in a good way. He surprises me by the amount of different roles he's taken on in only seven years. His characters are never quite the same, nor is he particularly attached to one genre or another. (And like another one of my favorites Chris Pine, Claflin often works with female directors and his characters support heroines to do their own thing....) In a celebration of his birthday, here are my five favorite roles of his so far. What are your favorite Sam Claflin movies? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

5 Reasons Why I Couldn't Fully Recap The Walking Dead Season Eight Finale

Nothing might be more defeating in a fandom than when something you love goes off the rails. Though The Walking Dead's ratings have been dropping for more than two seasons, and its direction has been panned by both fans and critics, the season eight finale was still majorly disappointing.

It's difficult to pinpoint where the popular series started spiraling out of control because every fan feels differently, and if you've been following my recaps, it's secret when the show started letting me down. However, there just seemed to be no recovery of how expectations of the characters' future were shattered when one major cast member was unceremoniously killed off, and the show kept piledriving a storyline that nobody wanted home. Which is why it took me so long to even approach writing a recap for the season finale. And, this post isn't even a full recap. Honestly, I didn't know if I needed space from the latest cliffhanger or if I just stopped giving a damn. I just know here are 5 Reasons Why I Couldn't Take The Walking Dead's Season Eight Finale Seriously and Didn't Recap It.

This post contains spoilers of season eight. You've been warned!


Is Wonder Woman 1984 Going Meta? and Other Thoughts about the Sequel

Wonder Woman 1984 Gal Gadot
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
We have another year to go before Patty Jenkin's highly anticipated return of Wonder Woman hits theaters. As more details like production stills and filming locations surface online, I'm already wondering what in the world is going on in this sequel - a surprising return? nods to George Orwell? comedian Kristin Wiig as the villain? Here are some thoughts and theories of what may be coming (full circle) in Wonder Woman 1984. 

Spoilers and theories are included beyond this point - you've been warned!