Showing posts with label articles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label articles. Show all posts

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Imperfect Complexity of Jackson & Ally

A Star Is Born portraits photographer Peter Lindbergh
photographer Peter Lindbergh
When A Star Is Born was initially released in late 2018, it received a lot of acclaim by both critics and moviegoers. But a not-so-subtle critique about the film was how it didn’t change its messaging about the tragic love story or its characters: does a male lead have to sacrifice himself as a woman rises to the top of their industry? Is the relationship between the love birds toxic more than purely romantic? With my love of director Bradley Cooper’s latest version in mind, I wondered about Jackson Maine and Ally Campana both on the page and screen, and if anything has truly changed in eighty-four years. (This post is l-o-n-g. Thanks in advance if you take the time to read it. Hope you enjoy!)

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

5 Changes The Oscars Can Take to Improve Next Year's Ceremony

Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler Oscars 2019 Craig Sjodin
photograph by Craig Sjodin / People Magazine
The road leading up to the 2019 Academy Awards ceremony has been anything less than unexciting. In an effort to limit its air time to three hours, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made a scroll's-worth of decisions that drew backlash and criticism from the movie-going community as well as the industry's biggest names. From difficulties landing a host to attempting to break tradition with presenting all of the categories, there are a lot of elements the show got wrong and right this year. Let's keep my unsolicited advice column going, and talk about which steps the Oscars can take to improve next year's ceremony. What did you think about this year's Oscars? Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Why It's Okay to Have All The Feels About the New Potterdom

Based on all of my blog posts and even my other blog (shameless plug), this doesn't need to be admitted. But I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. I live and breathe this series, and because of my devotion to this world that has given me so much love, understanding, and escape, I don’t have the emotional range of a teaspoon when it comes to this fandom. So much so, that when the series was supposed to end via Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in 2011, it was a rough road to closure and acceptance that there wouldn't be a new story to explore in J.K. Rowling's universe.

And then, the dawn of a new Potterdom arrived. It all started up again seven years ago with the interactive Pottermore site (RIP) and the possibility of spin-offs to expand the universe with Fantastic Beasts and Cursed Child came to fruition. As exciting revelations of the wizarding world unfolded, it also invited controversies that left fans baffled and disappointed; incidents from casting to confusing developments in worldbuilding that have made me question: Does the new canon add anything to the story we love? Can we support Fantastic Beasts with victim shaming? As additions has grown, my feelings bounce between reawakened excitement and cringe-worthy confusion. My emotional range has reached cauldron-sized proportions, and to be honest, not all of them are good. This post contains spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Dell on Movies Against The Crowd Blogathon

Dell on Movies is hosting the fifth year of his blogathon Against the Crowd, where bloggers share their unpopular opinions about movies "everyone" seems to love or hate. The blogathon sounded like a lot of fun, and not something I've participated in before. It was interesting to rummage through different genres, trying to find movies I thought were universally loved or hated and then find out my assumptions were completely wrong. I'm pretty surprised I actually found a pairing that fit a genre. If you want to see the full blogathon and the rest of the entries, check out Dell on Movie's blog here!

The blogathon guidelines:
1. Pick one movie that "everyone" loves (the more iconic, the better). That movie must have a score of 75% or more on rottentomatoes.com. Tell us why you hate it.

2. Pick one movie that "everyone" hates (the more notorious, the better). That movie must have a score of 35% or less on rottentomatoes.com. Tell us why you love it.

3. Include the tomato meter scores of both movies.

Here are my two picks. What do you think - agree or disagree? Feel free to let me in the comments!


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

UPDATED: Is Wonder Woman 1984 Going Meta? and Other Thoughts about the Non-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 November 2019. As more 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? Kristin Wiig as the villain? Here are some theories of what may be coming in Wonder Woman 1984. Spoilers and theories are included beyond this point - you've been warned!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

5 (Real) Ideas to Fix the Oscars

Award shows should be an exciting affair, and generally, they are for the people who they’re geared towards – Grammys ring in devoted music lovers, Tonys for the theatre crowd, Oscars for cinemaphiles, and so on. However, over the past several years  the Academy Awards has felt pressure to increase its ratings despite movie fans accepting the ceremony format (excluding the lack of diversity, of course) the way it is.

With making the Oscars more dynamic in mind, the Academy Awards's planned some big changes. Two, in particular, set fire to the film community: the show's running time will be limited to three hours period (by filming the technical winner's speeches during commercials and then aired as a montage). And, creating a new separate category for Popular Film instead of acknowledging blockbusters with other Best Picture nominees.

While their new ideas certainly had good intentions, it's not difficult to notice that the Oscars ceremony continues to gloss over its other mistakes. From forced comedy sketches to general pat-each-other-on-the-pack merriment, there's harmless flubs that makes it feel like we're watching the same ceremony over and over again; small reasons why the ratings continue to decline. So, how can the most anticipatory time of the year for movie buffs actually change for better? I have a few ideas. I'd love to know how you feel about the Oscars' announcements. Let me know in the comments!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Why It’s Okay To Lean Onto Fandom in Troubled Times

Every day there are always more shocking and disturbing headlines highlighting what’s going wrong in the world. Not that tragic, controversial, or destructive incidents haven’t been occurring since the beginning of time, but now with social media, the spotlight singles out every event at the same time: gun violence, net neutrality, police brutality, incompetent governments, Families Belong Together, horrific allegations of abuse and sexual assault - to name a few. As technology captures every minuscule or massive piece of news, the world never stops watching and reporting, moving faster than humans can process one event from the next.

The news has become so rampant and extreme, reality is a blender of all of our scariest dystopias because life is becoming a real dystopia. One day it’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The next day it’s 1984. Or Brave New World or Animal Farm. Combining them all together can feel like we're in a never-ending episode of Black Mirror, so much so we only wish Rod Serling was narrating us for The Twilight Zone. While we all have the best intentions to log onto the internet or social media to stay-up-to-date, what we see and read almost binds us to our sails being deflated. No matter what at the end of the day we're still normal people with a sense of responsibility to the world around us, who are also trying to do our best. But it's also so easy to feel absolutely helpless about it all.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Top Nomination Picks for the 70th Emmy Awards


Top Nomination Picks for the 70th Emmy Awards
Summer is winding down, but the new season of television is just around the corner. Which means it's almost the biggest time of the year for TV land. On September 17th, 2018, the Emmy Awards will celebrate actors and series nominated by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Will Donald Glover make history again? Will underdogs like The Americans have a chance to sweep? I thought it might be fun to share my top picks of major award categories (check out the full list of nominees here). Who do you hope will win at the 70th Emmys? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Wonder Women: Mission: Impossible Franchise

If Ethan Hunt is considered the quintessential American spy opposite MI6 British royalty James Bond, then his female counterparts are presumably bad-asses in their own right. Throughout the Mission: Impossible franchise led by Tom Cruise, Hunt's squad has offered actresses a wide range of love interests and agents. With the series's sixth installment Fallout hitting theaters, I thought it was about time to take a look at how the women fare throughout the franchise. Here's another edition of Wonder Women featuring Mission: Impossible. (Note: this list is in chronological order of the movies' release date and contains spoilers). Which is your favorite Mission: Impossible female character? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

What A Strong Female Character Means To Me

Women are more than cardboard cut-outs. But that's not often the way they are portrayed in pop culture. One term comes up a lot when the media or fandoms want to describe them, and that's Strong Female Character. In fact, that label comes up so much, I'm at a point where I don't know what it means anymore except that if there's a poster of a heroine wielding a weapon "she's a bad-ass and I'm automatically supposed to love her".

Recently I started thinking about SFCs, and how they're stuck with a copy-and-paste-personality of one part brawns and two parts boobs, measured by a standard that keeps moving and yet stands still. If a heroine is dismantling the system, she's automatically more interesting than the ones who stay behind to serve in politics or keep their families safe. If an independent bosslady falls in love, that's the only aspect of their life that matters. If the girl-next-door doesn't want anything to do with a guy, he'll convince her until she gives in; if an ingenue loves to learn, she's a hopeless nerd. Too often SFCs are experts at falling into one trope or having one mission, but fail hopelessly at everything else in their lives. 

When I think of my favorite female characters, they come from all walks of life in fandom:  Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Okoye/Shuri/Nakia from Black Panther, all of the women from The Walking Dead, Uhara from Star Trek, Princess Leia, Rey, and Rose from Star Wars. And the list goes on and on. They take on unique roles, sometimes the hardest ones if the writing is deplorable, and explore different arcs of a story, but they have a few traits in common: they're personable, layered, and multi-faceted. And that's why I started figuring out - what is a strong female character anywaysHow do you define Strong Female Character? Who are some of your favorites? I'd love to know in the comments below!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Everything I Love About Captain America in Age of Ultron and Civil War

Marvel Studios
We started with his origin Captain America: The First Avenger where we fell in love with the kid from Brooklyn. His identity began to build in The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In the third part of this series, everything comes to a head for the Star-Spangled Man with a plan in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Civil War. In the next leg of his own series and the Avengers spin-off, Captain America is tested to stand up for what he believes in as always, but also starts to fail a little - being a superhero is not what it is cracked up to be. There's a real human cost to saving the world. Hope you enjoy!


Monday, April 23, 2018

Everything I Love About Captain America in The Avengers and The Winter Soldier

Marvel Studios
In my previous post about everything I love about Captain America, I focused mainly on Captain America: The First Avenger, which explored his origins as the kid from Brooklyn who became Captain America. After being frozen for seventy years and reintroduced into the 21st Century, the following movies The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier starts to unpack who Steve Rogers is without his super-patriotic alter ego. This second part is all about what I love about the man and the myth. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Everything I Love About Captain America: The First Avenger

Marvel Studios
When you look at the Marvel franchise and its vault of superheros, the casting is incredible. Rarely does an actor miss a beat from the larger-than-life comic book character they're playing, but there a few that stand out above the rest. As humble as Chris Evans is, just like his All-American alter-ago, he has been an incredible asset throughout his own installments and The Avengers films. Captain America has honestly my favorite character in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, and with the fate of his arc up in the air for the epic Avengers: Infinity War duology, here is an endless list of reasons why I love Captain America starting with Captain America: The First Avenger (the others will come in part two). Did your favorite moment make the list?

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Stars I Love: Saoirse Ronan

It's hard to believe we've been watching Saoirse Ronan on-screen for more than a decade. Breaking out in her first award-worthy performance in 2007 for Atonement, she grabbed Hollywood's attention as a young teenager whose wild imagination has devastating consequences. And she's been collecting more acclaim ever since.

When we take a deeper look at the young Irish actress's work, it's hard to believe she's only twenty three years old and she's been nominated for three Academy Award nominations, slipping in and out of playing characters as swiftly as veterans like Meryl Streep and Viola Davis.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

5 Marvelous Things To Do Before Avengers: Infinity War

How To Get Ready for Avengers Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War is only one of the biggest movies in comic book history. Connecting superheros from all over the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the movie ties in years of franchises and spin-offs for one of the biggest battles ever. The Avengers's epic third film is only part one of this ginormous fandom-tastic event (part two will be out next year) and will be hitting theaters April 27th (in the U.S.), which means fans only have a few weeks to catch up on the Marvel franchise. Are you ready? Assemble your calendar - Here are five marvelous ways to prepare for Avengers: Infinity War. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) Teaser Reaction

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Newt Dumbledore Poster
Photo Credit: Warner Bros Studios
Ya'll know how much I love Harry Potter, but if you dived into the penseive with me for a second...you might be surprised to know my initial reaction to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them wasn't the rapturous adoration one might expect. Fast forward two years to today, and the first film has increasingly become one of my favorites of the series. I've watched it countless times to the point that I have it memorized, not to mention that I just want to hold Newt, Tina, Jacob, Queenie, and all of his magical creatures and never let them go.

So it's pretty exciting that after a long, controversial wait for more news about the sequel, the official teaser has finally been released! #WandsReady? Let's go! 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

5 Favorite "Guilty Pleasure" Romantic Comedies

I don't believe in guilty pleasures. We all have books, movies, or tv shows that we love, but in other people's eyes, we're supposed to feel bad about liking. Why? 'Cause they're not masterpieces or universally praised? We're supposed to "hate ourselves" for liking something other people don't? I don't get it. Since it's the month of love, and romantic comedies are supposed to be the bane of "serious" filmmaking, I thought it'd be fun to share some movies I should probably feel guilty about but don't. Here are 5 Favorite "Guilty Pleasure" Romantic Comedies. What are you some of your favorite rom-com movies other people hate? Feel free to share in the comments!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Top Nomination Picks for The 90th Academy Awards

90th Academy Award Nominations and Predictions to Win
It's the biggest time of the year for the film industry: the Academy Awards are just around the corner! Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are closing in on naming the chosen ones for best actors and productions over the past year. What are the odds this year's nominees will win? After aggregating the nominations from award shows so far and figuring out who might actually walk away with gold this year, I thought it'd be fun to share my top picks of everything from Best Music to Best Picture. Who do you hope will win at the 90th Academy Awards? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Stars I Love: Carrie Fisher

Despite being a huge geek, Star Wars wasn't a fandom I easily connected with growing up. My mom and sister are and have always been obsessed with George Lucas's space opera. Even though they took me to the prequels released in theaters, always had the original trio playing on tv, and even attended conventions to meet a parade of castmates, The Force failed to stick out. Unlike other fandoms that came into my world, light sabers battles and Death Stars just didn't click as a teenager.

If one thing is certain about the series whether I was a fan or not was that Princess Leia is Carrie Fisher, and vice versa. The iconography of the damsel-without-the-distress was pretty simple to love, even though I didn't get the hype of the original movies. My interest in the Star Wars realm wasn't strong, but I hugely admired Carrie Fisher.
When it’s out, it’s someone else’s version of what’s the matter with me. I want it to be my version of what it is. My recourse is to do my version. (x)
In 2015, when original cast was announced to be apart of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens, knowing Carrie Fisher would be on press tours and much more involved in the public than she had been was a gift. If there was one person I looked forward to hearing from it was her - that sharp humor, vulnerable candor, and unvarnished approached to life in and out of Hollywood.