Friday, March 30, 2012

We Interrupt Your Normally Scheduled Broadcast

Me with a nail gun building houses in New Orleans summer 2011.
Like a bauss
I usually don't get too personal on here or talk about things not involving popular culture, but this is an exception. Tomorrow I am leaving for my Spring Break trip to Birmingham, Alabama with Habitat for Humanity. I will be there for ten days, hence my absence in blogging (I may blog from my friend's computer, but I'm not making any promises).
Habitat is an organization that is very dear to my heart because it literally saved my life. Three years ago, (wow was it really that long ago?) I was a shy, scared freshman and joining habitat was one of the few things that brought me out of my shell. I went from regular member to treasurer to vice president which is the current position that I hold. I will most likely become the president of the club next year. I never imagined that this would happen. Habitat was something I just joined on a whim because I wanted to do it in high school, but mine did not have one. Now it has become a major part of my life.
 I have met so many incredible people through the club and done things I never believed possible. Doing habit has helped me prove to myself that I am a capable person and that I can make a difference in the world.
So for ten days I will travel to new places, make new friends, get dirty and sweaty and wear my hair in nothing but a ponytail and have a great time. I promise I will update later on what happens because as much as cinema is a part of my life, Habitat for Humanity is too.
Spring Break 2011 in Rocky Mount, NC

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Facebook 30 Day Movie Challenge

With the coming to the end of what I would like to call hell week, it is time to go back to the Facebook 30 day movie challenge. And with with the hullabaloo about book to movie translations with the release of The Hunger Games, I figured it was time for day 11.
Day 11: Favorite Book Adaptation- Interview With the Vampire
Interview With the Vampire is one of those rare movies that I watched before reading the book. I first read Anne Rice's stunning vampire thriller last year as part of my quest to devour any novel that had to do with the city of New Orleans. I was immediately sucked in (pun intended) to the dark and mesmerizing world of Louis and Lestat. I had previously watched the movie while I was actually in New Orleans building houses with Habitat for Humanity.
These vampires don't sparkle.
From the second that I opened the novel, I felt that Neil Jordan had completely captured the essence of the novel with his film. These were real vampires, seductive and cunning, but also brooding and lonely with their ever immortal lives. Jordan does a great job in playing the two different sides of vampire life off of each other. The ability to live forever and do whatever you want represented by Lestat and the depression and anxiety of damnation as shown through Louis. At first I, like Anne Rice before me, was worried about the casting of Tom Crusie and Brad Pitt to play these characters. Even with my love for Brad Pitt they seemed too safe and pretty, not nearly sexy enough to play vampires. How wrong I was. Both men completely embody the roles. I found Cruise's turn as the silky but dangerous Lestast was particularly good. I could not look away and was completely convinced at his character. Pitt was great (as always) as the existential vampire Louis. I felt that he captured the internal battle that the reader gets in the novel very well as Louis struggles with the darkness inside of himself and trying to figure out what to trust and who to believe. A  young Kirsten Dunst also captures the passion, anger, and fragility that comes with being trapped forever in a child's body. The trio need few supporters and work well as a whole and individually. While reading I would have never thought of them in the roles, but after seeing the film I could not imagine another cast.
I think the reason I liked the film so much was the way that it allowed me to really visualize the events in the book. I think that is why everyone likes seeing their favorite movies on the big screen: you are finally able to see the what the movie looks like in a place outside your head. Seeing the costumes and decadence of late eighteenth century New Orleans and later Paris was fantastic and really helped me get a feeling for the time period. The lavish, bright interior sets contrasted well with the dark and depraved streets where the vampires looked for their prey. The city of New Orleans provides a beautiful backdrop for this haunting story. 
Overall, besides being a great movie adaptation, Interview With the Vampire is a plain old great film. It has everything one could hope for, romance, murder, and eternal friendship. If you want to know what vampires are really like read this book, then watch the film.
Honorable mentions go to The Hunger Games (yes, I really liked it that much), The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (especially Fincher's version), Atonement, and The Social Network. 
Still have to see: The Help.

Friday, March 23, 2012

"Games" ON!

The midnight showing of the film I have been waiting for since the last Harry Potter just ended and I can say that it did not disappoint. The Hunger Games was everything I wanted it to be; sure they left some stuff out and on further viewing I may have some problems, but initial feeling is satisfaction.
"I do not want to lose the boy with the bread."
Even though I knew what was going to happen, my heart was in my stomach the entire film. I love the suspense that was created and I think Gary Ross did an incredible job. Thinking back on the film, I can honestly say the thing that I enjoyed the most was the camera work. I thought it worked amazingly well with the style of the movie and put the viewer right into the action. It also provided just the right amount of cover for the death scenes, which I would have liked to see a bit more clearly. But other than that I thought making the camera show Katniss' point of view was very unique and gave the film the edge it needed. 
Jennifer Lawrence has once again proved her acting abilities. Whether she was speaking or silently starring off into the woods, I thought she completely embodied Katniss. She is a heroine for females anyone to look up to because of her courage, intelligence, and willingness to do what is necessary to protect the ones she loves. I also thought Josh Hucherson was perfectly cast as Peeta. He comes across slightly dopey, but also this darker side that is slowly revealed. The only one of the "trio" I did not like was Gale. To me he was too pretty, I could not look past the fact that he was Thor's brother. Plus, he and Jen did not get much screen time together so it was hard to think about how I felt about their relationship. The rest of the cast was terrific and I especially enjoyed Stanley Tucci and Wes Bently as Caesar Flickerman and Seneca Crane respectively. Woody Harrelson also got in some good scenes as Haymitch despite the fact that the film toned down his relationship with Katniss. 
District 12 looked like it came straight from a Dorothea Lange photo. I loved the costumes and cast, even just of extras because they all looked like the belonged to a community. The same can be said for all the districts which we actually got a chance to see. The Capital was also crazy without being too over the top and I really liked the juxtaposition of the excess and frivolity of the Capital and the way they treat the games compared to the other districts.
Ross made some good decisions in choosing what to leave out. I thought that everything in the film was necessary and he worked well with the amount of time and numerous characters he was given. I loved the flashbacks to the all important bread scene which showed its significance without hitting you over the head with it. And my all time favorite line (as I like to call it, the "always" of The Hunger Games), "she came here with me," was delivered with such earnestness by Hutcherson that it made my toes curl with happiness. 
One of my few complaints with the film is that I wished they developed Peeta and Katniss' relationship more; I felt like something was missing though I cannot think of what it is. I also could have used a little more actual gore. I loved Ross' filming, but at times I feel like he used it as a curtain to cover up the action and appease the "young-adult" audience. 
What I think I liked so much about The Hunger Games was the fact that it functioned as a film. I believe that it can stand alone from the book and that even people who have never read it will enjoy it (like my dad). Ross made the movie exactly the way an adaptation should be: good for the fans and the causal movie go-er. The Hunger Games manages to have romance, murder, suspense, and political undertones. all at once. Also, the ending sets the viewer up nicely for the sequel, Catching Fire. 
Review: No milk needed 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Facebook 30 Day Movie Challenge

Yay, double digits!
Day 10: Favorite Foreign Film-A Bout de Souffle (Breathless) 
I first watched Jean-Luc Goddard's A Bout de Souffle (1960) in my introduction to cinema class sophomore year and instantly fell in love. There is just something about French cinema that I (and I feel many others) hold in a higher regard than any other country. There is just something so elegant about the French people and their language and culture that makes their films so enjoyable to watch. Also, the French seem to understand that cinema is an art form and they take their movies very seriously.
What I like so much about A Bout de Souffle is that it is so different from any other movie I've seen. I believe that its innovation still holds up today. Goddard's use of jump cuts and breaking the forth wall are used expertly and really makes for a new film experience. I love the homages to Hollywood films and actors, especially the reverence to Humphrey Bogart.
Jean Seberg is fantastic as the American in Paris. She is beautiful, self-deprecating, and confident all at the same time. Her gorgeous features make her seem as if she belongs in France and I want every single outfit she wears in the film.
Jean-Paul Belmondo is a man who can only exist in France. He is equal parts charming, cunning, and debonair. He is also a bit hapless and reckless at times, but it all works. He plays the character Michel with perfection, making you both smack your head at his stupidity and cheer on his "plans" for the sake of wanting to see them work.
The story of A Bout de Souffle itself is also great. It meanders and loses focus without becoming uninteresting. At times it is completely irreverent, but that comes with the nature of French New Wave. It is a genre that I definitely would like to see more films from.
Honorable mentions go to Pan's Labyrinth, a Spanish film which is another country I like films from for their use of magical realism, Amelie because who doesn't love the adorable French girl just looking for love, and Raise the Red Lantern, a film that is both haunting and beautiful.

I Think You Should Know Thursday

This Thursday I bring to you the folksy, punky Englishman, Frank Turner. He has gained more recent popularity with his 2011 album "England Keep My Bones" and in opening for The Dropkick Murphys and previously Green Day. I really like Turner's sound, it's all about the power of his strumming and catchy hooks. Some may say the instrumentation of his songs sounds occasionally like Mumford & Sons, but I personally think he has a sound all his own. Some criticize Turner for his atheist lyrics, but if you can past that he is just a scruffy man who just loves to play music.
"If I Ever Stray" from "England Keep My Bones" is a song that my boyfriend showed me and first put me on Frank Turner's radar. I love the jaunty guitar and sing-a-long lyrics. It is song that you can't help tap your toes to, it has a great beat.
"'Cause love is free and life is cheap
And as long as I've got me a place to sleep
Clothes on my back and some food to eat
I can't ask for anything more"
"Photosynthesis" is perhaps my favorite song purely because of the lyrics. Turner has a lot of songs that make for great chants; lyrics that probably sound great yelled by a big crowd at a concert. This song is no exception. It is about the fears of growing up, but it is not too serious, there is still that Frank Turner rhythm and that powerful guitar. Plus, the video is adorable.  
"And I won't sit down
And I won't shut up
And most of all I won't grow up"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Facebook 30 Day Movie Challenge

 I should be a lot further than day 9, but c'est la vie.
Day 9: Favorite Musical-Rent
Viva la vie boheme! 
I love musicals, I frequently sing and dance around my house pretending to be in one. And there is no musical I love more than Johnathan Larson's Rent. And while the 2005 film to which this post is dedicated to was directed by Chris Columbus, the credit for Rent all goes to Larson. This play is his life, he lived with these people and he was one himself: a bohemian artist struggling to find love, live life, and just pay the rent. The play and successive film would be nothing without him so I need to give credit where credit is due. Larson manages to make the story of Rent so real and heartbreaking. It is a story of friendship, but of most importantly "measuring your life in love."
Larson, the man himself
Each of his songs are all better than the next and the soundtrack of both the play and the movie are two of the most played on my ipod. The actors all have incredible voices and the songs are not just musical "fluff," but real songs expressing the characters' fears and desires. Columbus wisely cut some of the songs for the movie and used the lyrics as dialogue.
I think Columbus did a really great job with his film in capturing the spirit of the play. Using almost all of the play's original cast was a stroke of genius because these are the actors who know the characters the best. It was definitely something that helped ease the plays transition onto the big screen. The duo of Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal (who I actually saw in the Broadway version) as Mark and Rodger respectively have great chemistry. The two work well together and have done so for many years in numerous revivals of the play. Rosario Dawson (one of the few not from the original Broadway cast) is also great as Mimi, embodying both her sexiness and youth and vulnerability very well. My personal favorite is Jesse L. Martin as the lovable and devious Tom Collins. I love his deep booming voice and his relationship with Angel (Wilson Jermaine Heredia).
I think my favorite thing about Rent is that even though it is about a sad subject matter, it manages to be uplifting. Rent is about living life to the fullest, being grateful for everyday, and surrounding yourself with people you want to spend your life with. I think we need a little more of that type of positive thinking.
Honorable mentions go to Across the Universe and Moulin Rouge! two of my favorite films that for some reason I always forget are considered muscials. Welp, now I'm angry that I forgot. Also Newsies (see it if you haven't for one reason: baby Christian Bale singing and dancing), Chicago, and School of Rock.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Think You Should Know Thursday

This Thursday I think you should know the bubbly Brooklynites Matt & Kim. The band has a do-it-yourself approach to music with a style that stretches across genres, however, they are most known for their upbeat indie-pop sound. The duo have been around since 2005 and have gained small successes from having their music aired on shows such as "Community."
"Daylight" was that song and was a single off their 2009 album, "Grand." It is the only non-rap song on the album and has been used as an advertisement for many video games. It is one of those songs that's perfect for a sunny day like today. The lyrics are not too deep, but it still has a good beat.
"We cut the legs off of our pants
Threw our shoes into the ocean
Sit back and wave through the daylight
Sit back and wave through the daylight"
"Wires" is from the album "Sidewalks" (2010). It has a much more electric sound and a great keyboard and percussion introduction. The lyrics are also a little more meaningful here with a slightly political tone.
"And all my fancy books are just for looks
It drives slowly like this train
Train's been delayed
Take the long way
Figured we'd hop up here"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Adventures in Filmmaking: Something to Show for Myself

After months of complaining about my cinema classes, I finally have something to show for myself. I have to say, I am pretty happy with how this whole thing turned out considering how much I stressed out about it. My professor really liked it and the annoying guy in my class who I've been calling "pretentious film snob guy" on twitter said the sound was really good and that he could "watch the image all day." Which is pretty impressive seeing as he can find something to nitpick about everyone else's films.
The film is called Phantasmagoria and yes I knew what it meant before I used it as my film's title. Watch the film below and then if you really want to know the magic behind my movie, keep reading below. 
Just so you know, everything is purposeful, there are no glitches, so just keep watching.
When I shoot I occasionally have an idea. This was not one of those times. This was one of those times when I got lucky. I happened to be awake at 3 a.m. because I am a night owl when I realized it was snowing. Of course I didn't have a tripod, I was planning on getting one in the morning, but snow waits for no one. I grabbed my camera and headed outside, right to the woods behind the back of my building. The image that eventually became Phantasmagoria was the first thing I shot. I saw the snow falling around the street light and thought the image would look interesting. I shot a lot of other things that night, including a family of deer and snow covered tree branches, but without a tripod and in the dark, nothing really came out too well (good thing I'm not trying to be a surgeon, I have the shakiest hands ever).
I honestly don't know where the idea came from for this project. I think the first thing was since it was shot at night, I wanted to create this sort of dreamscape. The more I learned about final cut pro the more fun I had manipulating the image and sound. I slowed down the image of the snow falling by 80% and distorted the colors by adding filters. I rotated some of the images so that in some scenes the snow appears to be moving upside down. The sound is of boots walking on the snow and the song "Howl" by Florence + the Machine both drastically slowed down and layered on top of each other. I also added an echo to give it a strange quality so that you can't quite decipher what the sound is even though it sounds familiar. 
The end of the film I wanted to be like waking from a dream. I wanted to show what ordinary images made up the extraordinary phantasms. 
I guess since I've looked at these images so many times during editing they do not seem remarkable to me, but everyone in my class really seemed to like them. I do have to say there is something nice in the image. Almost soothing. I honestly do like how it came out which is rare because I am usually very critical of everything I do. I think I like this film so much because it is a product of many hours spent in the cinema lab freezing as I waited for my film to render on the world's slowest mac. But I think it all paid off. 
I would love feedback or questions. Anything really. I am putting myself out there. My first film is up for all the world to see. I want to improve, I want to know what people think. This is the first film I've been able to show and it's a big deal to me so I would appreciate greatly some opinions.

Facebook 30 Day Movie Challenge

I know, I know, I am a terrible blogger. I am also a very involved college student where Spring Fever has just struck right around the same time as midterms. So I apologize for my lax blogging these last few days, I would say it won't happen again, but you know me and I don't like making promises I can't keep. Oh well, on wards and upwards.
Day 8: Favorite Animated Feature
For me, this one is very difficult because I love animated films. I honestly wish we had an animation class at my university because I feel like they are so much different from live action films and need to be discussed in different ways. That being said I cannot continue without breaking down this category into a few sections:
1. Favorite Pixar Movie: Monsters, INC.
For many people, Monsters, INC. is not their favorite in the long list of amazing Pixar films. And I have to admit that it is very difficult to choose, I love them all. For me, Monsters, INC. stands above the rest because of the pure idea of it. We all feared the monsters in our closets and under our beds, but to make a movie about it from the monsters' point of view? Genius. The room with all the doors of kid's closets everywhere and shredding them when they get too old? Inspired. It also has that funny, sentimental touch that is a special quality of (almost) all Pixar films. The relationships between Mike and Sully and then Sully and Boo are heart warming and sweet. You have to admit that you teared up a little in the last scene (okay, maybe you don't, but I did). The animation is incredible, I love every hair on Sully's body and all the unique characteristics of each monster. I also love a good villain and Randell is one evil dude. And while it is not the most quotable Pixar film (that obviously goes to  Finding Nemo), I think it has some great lines and really truly funny moments. It is a film I still enjoy watching.
Honorable mentions go to The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, and Toy Story.
2. Favorite Disney Movie: Aladdin 
Aladdin has always been my favorite Disney movie. While I may identify with Belle, the street rat with big dreams and a heart of gold won over my own heart. He was probably the first animated character I had a crush on. The score is fantastic, as always, and I still know the words to every song. I love every single character from the fierce and independent Jasmine to the cunning and scheming Jafar. Aladdin is where I, like most children, also fell in love with Robin Williams. Even from an early age I could appreciate his humor and now even more that I get more of the jokes. I love his vocal work, he is perfect as an animated character and has some great lines. To me, Aladdin will always define my childhood.
Honorable mentions go to The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Mulan.
3. Favorite Non-Disney/Pixar Movie: Anastasia 
Anastasia is the movie that's so good you think it's a Disney movie. It is another movie that defined my childhood because I loved it and watched it so much. I even did a dance to "Once Upon a December" way back in my days of ballet. 
What's not to like? There's mystery, romance, singing, and a villain who's completely off his rocker. Dimitri was another one of those animated guys I had a crush on; he was so smooth and charming yet vulnerable all at the same time. And I loved Anastasia as an orphan tough enough to be one of the guys, but finally becoming her own as a princess. 
I still remember watching this film with my family for the first time and my dad commenting on the amazing animation. For the time it was remarkable, every footprint appears in the snow when Anya walks and phantoms from the past appear from the walls in ghostly blurs. It was a film that clearly showed Disney it wasn't the only cool kid on the block. 
Honorable mentions go to Shrek for breaking all the rules, Fantastic Mr. Fox for its reality and hilarity, Coraline and The Nightmare Before Christmas for being a really dark "non-kid" animated movies and How to Train Your Dragon for pure cuteness.
I also really still need to watch Spirited Away and The Secret of Kells. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Think You Should Know Thursday

This Thursday I share with you First Aid Kit, a band that I have pretty much been listening to exclusively this week (well, that and "El Camino"by the Black Keys). First Aid Kit is composed two incredible Swedish sisters, 21 year old Johanna and 19 year old Klara. (Their age makes me wonder what I've been doing with my life.) Their name comes from the fact that they wanted to be "a band-aid to the soul" according to Klara.
And are they ever. The girls are incredibly talented; they sing close harmonies and play guitar. Their videos usually feature them in long flowing peasant dresses running, dancing, or singing in some lush forest or field. They would fit in quite well in the 1960's, but at the same time they have a great sound that fits in well with the new folk movements of today. Their popularity as of late has grown; their new album "The Lion's Roar" is number one in Sweden and they are touring the states this month (unfortunately for me, not at a time where I can see them). They have come a long way from their early days when they gained attention for covering the Fleet Foxes' "Tiger Mountain Peasant Band" on YouTube.
"The Lion's Roar" comes from the First Aid Kit album by the same name. The song and video are haunting with the girls marching in a funereal like procession through a mist shrouded forest. It is a song that will get stuck in your head, but you won't want it to leave.
"And I'm a goddamn coward, but then again so are you
And the lion's roar, the lion's roar
Has me seeking out, has me searching for you
And I never really knew what to do"

"King of the World" is my personal favorite First Aid Kit song. It features Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes who
brings his instrumentation, namely trumpets and jaunty guitar, to the sisterly harmonies. He also joins in on the last verse, with his spoken-sung lyrics and soothing voice blending in with the girls. This song has a great rhythm and is more upbeat than many of their others. It is one of those songs you cannot help but tap your toes to.
(This video is not official, but I felt like it fit)
"I keep running around
Trying to find the ground
But my head is in the stars
And my feet are in the sky
Well I'm nobody's baby
I'm everybody's girl
I'm the queen of nothing
I'm the king of the world"

Oh and p.s. this is my 100th blog post! I would like to thank you all for reading and beg you to continue you to do so. I really appreciate all the support I've been given. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Facebook 30 Day Movie Challenge

Day 7: Favorite Action Film-Die Hard
Numerous times on this blog I have defended my love of action films. I like films that are loud and explosive for the sake of being loud and explosive, but at the same time, to be my favorite film the movie has to be smart. There has to be a good story; it cannot just be pure entertainment. So while I like films like Transformers and The Day After Tomorrow for what they are worth, they will never rank higher than mere popcorn entertainment for me.
 Die Hard (1988) is more than just popcorn. It is one of my favorite Christmas movies; nothing gets you into the spirit of the holidays like Bruce Willis trying to save his wife from an evil Alan Rickman.
"Yippee-Ki-Yay, Motherfucker."
What I like about Die Hard is the dialogue. It is funny in a smart, sarcastic way (the way I like to think I am). Bruce Willis has some of the best one liners not to mention an awesome catchphrase. His interactions with Sgt. Powell are more than your average cop buddy relationship; the two men actually share a connection. When they finally meet at after speaking over walktalkies for the entire film, it is a heart warming scene of two men who have just been through hell together. Such scenes are rarely witnessed in your average action flicks.
Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber (who, if I haven't said it before is one of my all time favorite actors) is a great villain.(Shooting the glass when Bruce is not wearing any shoes? How could you Alan?) You think he is just plain bad until the very end when you discover his real treachery, then he is pure evil. He and Willis have some great interactions and witty banter. John McClane is the perfect American cowboy/cop to Rickman's foreign pseudo-terrorist.
Who said we were terrorists?
I haven't seen any other of the Die Hard films and frankly I don't really want to see Bruce Willis being rolled through an air vent in a wheelchair. I think they should quit while they are ahead so I can remember Bruce the way he is supposed to be: young, muscled, still with a head of hair, and not giving any...well you get the idea.
Honorable mentions for best action film go to The Professional, Terminator 2, and Transporter (or pretty much anything starring Jason Statham).

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Facebook 30 Movie Challenge

So I'm just going to pick and choose from all the multiple Facebook 30 day movie challenges which one I do each day. Keeps things more interesting and lets me answer the ones that I want to.
Day 6: Favorite Drama-Atonement 
I think Atonement (2007), directed by Joe Wright is one of the saddest, most beautiful films I have ever seen. It is also an incredible book to film adaptation, but not my favorite (that post will come later). I love it for a number of reasons, first because of the cast. Usually when I like a film it has to do with the cast and the quality of the acting. This film is no exception. Keira Knightly is perfection as Cecilia, I love the subtly of her movements and how she acts right down to her pinky. Every facial expression and gesture is so thought out and elegant. I know some people don't like her, but I for one find her not only beautiful, but  also a great actress; she was one of my favorites until she vanished off the face of the earth. James McAvoy is also fantastic as Robbie. He plays his character with just the right amount of every emotion: passion, rage, and also fragility. He and Keira have some serious chemistry. Saoirse Ronan is also perfection as the young Briony. She is a girl so convinced by the creations of her own mind that does not believe her actions are wrong. I personally find it difficult to hate her as an adult (I won't spoil why you should or shouldn't hate her if you haven't seen it) because of the way she is played by Ronan as a child. Also, Benedict Cumberbatch is in the film with possibly one of the worst creepest mustaches ever.
Paul: You have to bite it. 
(Can you tell I basically just love the entire cast?!)  
Not only is the cast amazing, but the story is too. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but it is one of those films that is the perfect combination of heartbreak and romance. The story weaves in complicated webs and leaves you in a place you rarely expected to end up in.
The cinematography and overall setting of Atonement is beautiful as well.
Cecilia:  I wouldn't necessarily believe everything Briony tells you. She's rather fanciful.
Wright takes the viewer from the luxurious Tallis family manor to the war torn beaches of Dunkirk. The costumes are also beautiful and really add to the characters' development.
Honorable mentions for best drama go to Pride & Prejudice, Up in the Air, and Black Swan.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Facebook 30 Day Movie Challenge

So school work and internet problems caught up to me so I missed a few days. But now I'm back and better than ever with a new and improved 30 days of movies (I keep losing my original list so I'm improvising and I found a new list that I will start in my next post).
Day 5: A movie that makes you laugh- Father of the Bride
I love Charles Shyers' Father of the Bride (1991) because I have such good memories associated with it and while I've never seen the original, I love it all the same. I've watched the film a number of times, mostly when it is on television with my family, especially my dad. He loves the film too and has made me promise on a number of occasions to never leave from my own wedding without saying goodbye. That is why I think it is so funny, because it reminds me so much of my own family.
George:  I'll tell you what I'm doing. I want to buy 8 hot dogs and 8 hot dog buns to go
with them. But no one selss 8 hot dog buns. They only sell 12 hot dog buns. So I end up
paying for 4 buns I don't need. So I am removing the superfluous buns.
I also think it is so funny because it is relatable. Steve Martin plays the wound up father just right; there is a touch of sadness as well as hilarity to his performance. He plays the perfect father complaining about every aspect of the wedding, but at the same time willing to do anything to make his daughter happy. Martin Short is also hilarious as the wedding planner with the unpronounceable name and very expensive taste. Father of the Bride is not only funny, but touching and sentimental all at the same time. Overall, it is a great film.
Random side note about me, I hate gag humor. If people are making bathroom jokes or hitting each other with sticks, most of the time I find the movie unfunny.
Honorable mentions go to Shaun of the Dead, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, pretty much anything staring Will Ferrell (even though I hate to admit it, he's pretty funny), Zoolander, Wedding Crashers, and The Hangover. And despite the bathroom humor in Bridesmaids, I loved it because it showed women can be (and are) funny.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I Think You Should Know Thursday

This Thursday the artist I think you should know is New York based singer song writer Jaymay. I first heard her on Pandora with one of her more well know songs, "Sea Green, See Blue" and fell in love with her soft, sweet melodies. This week my feelings for her were confirmed when I watched the awesome Happythankyoumoreplease for which she did the score. Her songs are upbeat, but at the same time have an attitude that can only come from New York. Her songs really capture the feelings of love and life that the movie centers on.
"Grey or Blue" is my favorite song by Jaymay from her Sea Green, See Blue EP (2006). It was another one I found on Pandora and didn't realize I liked until I began to listen to the lyrics. Then I went and bought it. At the time I heard this song last year it described pretty accurately what was going on it my life. And while it doesn't any more, it still is great.
"Are you too nervous to be lovers
Friendship's ruined with just one kiss?
I watched you very closely, I saw you look away
Your eyes are either grey or blue
I'm never close enough to say"
"Don't second guess your feelings
You were right from the start
And I notice she's your lover
But she's nowhere near your heart
This city is for strangers
Like the sky is to the stars
But I think it's very dangerous
If we do not take what ours"
"Never Be Daunted" is from Happythankyoumoreplease. It fits the themes of the movie of being afraid of life and love but also of trying to lose that fear. I just love the way she sings in such a clear, earnest voice.

(This video is kind of hokey, but the one with scenes from the film had spoilers)
"What are you so afraid of?
Why are you so scared? 
What's the worst that's going to happen?
Standing in the moonlight
I can tell that you feel doomed
Though nothing is wrong, no nothing"