Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts

Monday, January 18, 2016

Movie Monday... Lee Daniel's The Butler

Hello Lovely Readers,

This post is dedicated to the wonderful Alan Rickman... who I fell in love with as Colonel Brandon.
Last week after hearing of his passing I went home and searched Netflix to see what films they had of his on. One of his films is Bottle shock, which if you haven't seen it is great, but I have seen it a few times and at that moment didn't feel the need to re-watch it.

 He has some great lines in it...
Another one of his films on Netflix was Lee Daniel's The Butler, it had been on my list for awhile but I never got around to watching it... so I wanted to check it out and see how Alan Rickman fit into the casting. Just to let you know he plays Ronald Regan and is really only in the film maybe 15 or 20 minutes, but was still a powerful movie.
{Alan Rickman as Ronald Regan}
I know there are a lot of racial issues in the film that I don't feel adequate to discuss...that almost made me not want to write this post. However, I think it is important for the lessons of the past to continue on to the present.
I don't like to consider myself an ignorant person (I guess no one does) but as history lover sometimes I will admit I like to sugar coat things or romanticize things... but there has been lots of struggles in our country and I think it is important to remember them because if we don't we will continue our ignorance. I think what got to me the most was just the hatred that exists in people (I almost typed "existed" but I know hatred still goes on). Which, I think is so sad because over and over again we are told that we are all God's children and God died for us... so how can we hate? I am not saying I don't have this down perfectly but I found this film to be a good reminder of how a little hate can become a big hate.


Okay I will step off my soap box and will now discuss the film... the casting was great from Forest Whitaker playing Cecil Gaines to Robin Williams playing President Eisenhower. I felt the story did a great job of showing the transition in time in the costuming, hair and makeup, and setting of the Gaines' home to the decorations of the White House. I also think the movie showed a great transition of what one man and what one family can go through to make a difference in small and big ways.

{Lenny Kravitz as James Halloway}
The movie starts in 1926 where we see Cecil's father shot in cold blood for standing up to the boss's son, which shocked me and then a few minutes later see two African American being hung. Yeah it really takes your breath away... So don't watch if faint of heart. But Cecil gets out of the situation and grows up to be a strong worker and though some think he is being "subservient" he is doing his best with the situation he has born in. We watch his son Louis Gaines (David Oyelowo) become more political doing protesting, freedom rides, and he gets beaten up, thrown in jail, attacked by KKK. (Yeah this is the part where the hatred comes in and it was hard to watch).
Over the course of the film both men grow... one learns not be so quiet and one learns to work more withing the system to effect change. But beyond the lives of these two men times continue to change and stories continue to unfold. I found it amazing to watch how much the country and even the world can change within a few decades.

Not to detract from the story, there was just a few details issues I that made me question it... the biggest one being James Marsden playing President Kennedy, as much as I think James Marsden is gorgeous I don't know if he looks like John F. Kennedy.

I also did not like that at the end it felt a little to political and that it was pushing an agenda. However, I will not let these facts detract from the powerful story it told. It is rated PG-13 for some language and powerful image (I would say the language that got me the most was how many times they used the N-word).

As this post is dedicated to Alan Rickman- I wanted to share this short interview of his I found on making this movie...

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Films... A Little Chaos

Hello lovely readers,

Before I can truly write a review of A Little Chaos that there are some aspects of the movie that might make some people uncomfortable. I am not condoning these actions I am just saying it was common in French Court for the King and the people around him to have mistresses. These aspects made me hesitant to write about this film but I thought this was a beautiful film I had to share it with you all. 
I will admit the film is a little slow and the love story is slow and with films like Star Wars and other high action movies coming out I think this film might not satisfy someone who loves a fast pace movie. From the trailer you can tell it is a romantic story but the romance is so little you don't even know they are in love until Andre Le Notre's (played by Matthais Schoenarts) wife points out that he is infatuated with Sabine De Barra (played by Kate Winslet).

I was first intrigued by this movie after watching Far From a Maddening Crowd and I thought Matthais Schoenarts looked familiar so I looked up his other film credits, only to discover I had never seen a movie of his but I discovered this film. I was intrigued by the casting and loving both Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman I put it on my waiting list at the Library... got to love the library and free access to 100s of movies. 

The movie starts off saying "There is an outdoor ball room at Versailles, in what follows this much is true." So the character of Sabine is fictional, as there would be no women landscapers at the time, regardless Kate Winslet plays Sabine very well. Sabine is strong, passionate, and does not confirm to the world around her.  This draws attention to her not only from the love interest but also from the King and his brother Duke of Orleans (played by Stanely Tucci.)
Stanley Tucci and Alan Rickman in awesome wigs
At the start of the film Sabine is hired by Andre, who is in charge of the landscape for the gardens at Versailles but he cannot handle demands of the King so he brings her on. At their first meeting he does not seem to like her very much, because she won't confirm, they discuss how gardens are to be structured and she doesn't agree with him. Then they have a beautiful scene in her personal garden where Andre discusses when God made men he put them in a beautiful garden, since we have been banished we have been seeking out our own Eden... it could almost give you the desire for a green thumb. While Sabine doesn't want to confirm to the world around her, she does have to navigate the happenings of French Court... oh and Jennifer Ehle (aka Elizabeth Bennet) makes an appearance. She also needs to deal with some struggles of her past in order to accept love.

One reviewer on IMDb wrote that she would "watch Stanley Tucci read a phone book, he is that good." I quite agree and I did find him quite an amusing character.


The story was charming and beautiful with costuming and settings to match. I know it is a British Film (directed by Alan Rickman) but I found it funny that all the settings were in England. Some of them I even recognized from watching The Young Victoria a lot. But try to not let that distract you if you watch the movie.

I would recommend this film if you like Sense and Sensibility (for Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet), The Young Victoria (beautiful settings) and Marie Antoinette (French Court). 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Films... Age of Adeline

Hello Lovely Readers,

Last weekend I watched the beautifully artistic film of Age of Adeline staring Blake Lively. Blake Lively was perfect casting she is flawlessly and classically beautiful, she looked in the 1920s style to modern day fashion. The story is one of those where you have to suspend reality and just believe it is possible. In the beginning of the film we see Adeline have a horrible car accident (it is in the trailer... so not a spoiler) and because of a bolt of lighting she is never able to age. She then has to be on the run as she worries people will want to arrest her and maybe do test on her (she lives in the MacArthur era so people might think she is a communist spy). Anyway she moves every 10 years and she is about to move when she meets Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman... Orphan Black and Nashville). Ellis is swept away by Adeline's beauty and brains (I mean she works at a how awesome is that). He is also very persistent, which at first worries Adeline but then she gives in and they fall in love (that is not a spoiler as it a romantic movie). He takes her to meet his parents and his dad (Harrison Ford) instantly recognizes her as Adeline, even though she says that was her mother. From there things begin to unravel... will Adeline run again? will she tell her secret? 

Ellis and Adeline
The main reason to see this movie is to see the
costuming. As I said Blake Lively was great casting she can live in any decade and still look wonderful. She can wear any style and still look beautiful... okay I will admit I got a little bit of a girl crush on her (from watching this).

And while the story was romantic and I got a little sappy feelings from parts of it I am glad I did pay a movie ticket for it... sorry Lively. I thought the film was beautiful and the story good for the message it was trying to portray but on my budget I think I would have been upset with myself if I spent $10 dollars on a ticket. However, for a movie to watch for free on Sunday afternoon it was delightful.

The one part that really annoyed me was the voice over. It wasn't Lively's voice so it made me distant from the story and I think there could have been a way to portray what the voice was saying better. But overall I thought it was a good twist on a love story. 
This is just a sampling of the costume design... but as I love costume design I will probably search out more movies with the same costumer. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Classic film rewatch... Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Hello lovely readers,

Back in the winter when Boston was buried under 9 feet of snow I put the movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks on hold at my library and I finally got it! I am going to blame all the snow for it taking so  long to get to me (even though it is now August).

Anyway, I can't tell you why back in February I had an inkling to watch it, but it was quite fun. I grew up watching Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music but for some reason I don't remember this film being in my families repetition and I don't know why not after all it has magic, cartoon animals that talk and Nazis (a perfect combination).

It truly is a nonsensical story (and how many times can you say that about a movies with Nazis in it). It takes place in a little village in the country side of England. Three kids (Charlie, Carrie and Paul) are sent off to this country side to protect themselves from the bombings in London to stay with Miss Price (Angela Lansbury) who is witch in training. She is hoping to use her witch powers for the War cause.

Well though she is a witch in training she needs to finish her lessons when the school is closed due the war. That is when we meet Professor Brown (you might recognize as Mr. Banks from Mary Poppins) who is actually a fake. Then they are sent on a quest to get the last of the spell on an island that is run by animals who speak, this is where the cartoon aspect come in.

Once they have the last words of the spell they return to England and have a musical and magical moment.

After this moment, the Nazis land on the shore of the village and take residence in Miss Price's house. Now it is up to Miss Price and the children to save the day.  Which they do...

As I am in the generation who thinks of Angela Lansbury as being from Murder She Wrote it was fun to see her in another role. Also fun to see her lead military armor into battle. For anyone who criticizes Disney for not writing strong female characters they should look to her.

Overall, it was simply cute. My one criticism is that there might be too many musical numbers that don't help the plot line, but I think that was typical for musicals back then. So if you are looking for a film to pass the time and not to be take too seriously I recommend it. And after waiting months for the DVD from the library I am glad I finally got to watch it.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Frivolous Friday... Webseries Shout Out

Hello lovely readers,

I have mentioned the web series, Classic Alice,  in my "Webseries love Wednesday" post but it is back for a second season. It is great because it focus on array of books (books out of copy right). Alice, the main character reads the book and attempts to live it out in front of a camera as a documentary with her friends. It is cool in the way they bring classic stories up to date. I also think it is cool because it is not just a YouTube series they have multiple social media outlets such as Twitter and Tumblr to keep the story moving forward, but if you just watch the YouTube videos you get the main plot. I think these web series of picking up classics and revamping them for the 21st century is awesome(like the Lizzie Bennet Diaries of Emma Aprroved)... it proves classics are not old stories but tales that are still relate-able. Here is the trailer for books 1-7.
While it looks like a simple camera sitting on a desk and she is just talking with her friends you can tell they have put a lot of work into it. I think these web series are awesome because the people involved (actors, writers, camera man, and producers) work not only to shoot these films but they do it on a very low budget, which they have to raise themselves through things like kick star and other sources. They aren't high production companies they are people interested in bringing these narratives to life...if I had any video skills I would love to do something like this.
Episode 1:

I hope you enjoy. Here is the link to Classic Alice's YouTube Channel.

Also Happy early 4th of July to you all...
One of my favorite 4th of July... my parents coming to visit me in the city I love.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Every Easter I love watching the wonderful musical Easter Parade. 
(Since I originally posted this back in 2012 the video I had shared has been removed here is another great scene)

When ever holidays come around it is funny what you remember, things I remember from Easter...

1. I am not sure if we watched it on Easter or not but I remember watching the movie Easter Parade at my Nana and Grandpa's house and now every Easter I want to watch it.

2. Easter dresses- I remember every year having to wear white tights and patent leather shoes, at least until I was in my teens and the first year I did not wear those items I felt so grown up.

Some Examples of my Easter Dresses:
My sister, Granddad and I

My dad and I. 

3. Bunnies -I remember every year my mom got us a stuffed bunny for Easter, one of them was rose colored and I named her Felicity. We put all our bunnies on top of our fireplace mantel and we called it bunnies on parade.

4. Easter Brunch- When we were at my mom's house we always went out for a special brunch, they were probably the nicest meals we ate growing up.

5. New York City- when I was in 6th grade my mom took my sister and I to New York City and we stayed in the Plaza Hotel.Sad to say I don't remember much about that trip. I went to the Disney store near time square and I begged my mom that instead of my Easter bunny to buy a vintage looking Eeyore. I know it might be silly but it is still the stuff animal I sleep with.

6. Easter egg hunts- I remember when my Grandma would put bible verses in little eggs... when you are kid you look forward to the candy so I always felt chipped getting Easter eggs with verses. Now I am glad that she tried to keep Easter still close to God, when so many people make it about the Easter bunny. Also I remember my younger cousin, who is at least seven years younger than me, enjoyed Easter egg hunts much longer than we did but I felt bad she didn't have some one to play with so I pretended to be excited about Easter egg hunts even when I was fourteen.

7. Peeps- I know a lot of people find peeps disgusting. But I love them. One year in college I put on Facebook about how I didn't get any Peeps that year and she sent me boxes of Peeps. But I am a traditionalist I only eat Peeps at Easter time.
Hope you have a wonderful Easter!

The Finale

Friday, January 16, 2015

When you don't know what to write

Hello lovely writers,

Yes I am writing specifically to my writing friends (but if you are not a writer you can read too)... minus this blog I am not a published author. And I actually don't care if I ever have a published book (I mean it would be great for my stories to live beyond my own little imagination) but for me writing has always been a tool for escapism. However, this doesn't mean I don't want to nurture or grow in my skills as a writer. Now that I am done with school it is one thing I want to spend more time doing. I have even thought about looking into taking creative writing classes (not for a degree) to really work on this craft.

Anyway, on Wednesday night I attended a writing workshop and it it was great... One thing we did was "the leader" put a few pictures on the table and we had to take one and start writing a story, poem, whatever based on that picture. Then 20ish minutes we had to pick a completely different picture and some how integrate it into what we were writing already. Well I was drawn to the first picture (above) instantly... it looked like a pic from a time period I love.* Then the next picture was of a person holding a cross (looked like a rosary) looking as if he was about to cry and a man shouting in the background (sorry couldn't re-find image). It was a great activity to get the creative thoughts flowing so I just wanted to share it with you all.

Here is what I wrote:

"Move it along Teddy," mama pushed the back of his head.
"But Mama look at those men." 
"Move Edward!" Teddy jumped when mama called him by his formal name.

Edward James Coolson was so stately and sometimes it felt unfitting when he looked down at his dirt covered hands and his apron that had numerous patches.

Mama didn't stop and notice the men on the bicycle, she was too busy selling her flowers. She had up on her best dress, with a lace shawl, and her pillbox hat with trimmings and feathers she had sewn on herself. Mama had wanted to look respectable, "respectability sold flowers," she had often said.

Mama didn't stop and notice the men on the bicycle. But Teddy did. Teddy got in trouble for always gawking at the people they passed on the street. To be fair though these men probably wanted to be noticed. They wore bright checkered jackets both of yellow and crimson. One was standing on the pegs of the bicycle effortlessly balancing his weight on his friend's shoulders. "Perhaps they were on stage," Teddy thought for no one dressed so brightly. Black was the mainstream for this neighborhood it blended well with the coal and soot that filled the air. 

Mama didn't stop and notice the men. She hardly noticed anyone that wasn't a customer. She had observed the finely dressed women a bit a ways and nudged Teddy to them. They were in soft linen dresses, one with purple sash, and both with boater hats. Mama always noticed women's dresses before she married Pa she had worked in a seamstress shop and was always pointing out styles to Teddy. Teddy thought it was almost magic the way she knew by how a woman dress if she would buy flowers or not. She knew these women all dressed up would mean they honorable women and honorable women always had a few pennies to spare to give a child in need. Teddy must look to be in need for mama fiercely shoved him towards the ladies. 

Teddy did as mama told him. He wanted to sale her flowers too. Actually he didn't want Pa to yell at them when they came home. Pa was always yelling. He would yell when it was February and they didn't sale anything because the streets were deserted. He yelled in June because he though they could sale more than they had. Pa hadn't worked in months, he had gotten injured in the factory. Mama said it hurt a man's soul not to work. Pa must be taking his hurt out on mama. 

Teddy did as mama told him. He didn't tell anyone about the nights Mama cried or about the bruises on his arms. Pa was always good to hit in places that could be covered up. Teddy wanted to run away but he couldn't, he couldn't leave Mama. Besides once Pa was working again everything would be fine. Pa wouldn't hit or yell anymore. Teddy reminded himself of the nights when Pa would play his violin after dinner, and how Mama would take Teddy by the hand and teach him to dance. Every night Teddy told himself it would get better, that's why he stayed. **

 I am not sure if I will continue writing this story but I did really enjoy getting some motivation for writing and meeting other writers. I know writing can be a really lonely activity so I am glad to meet people with the same hobby as me. 

*-Little did I know it was from the movie "Harry and Walter go to New York" but I knew that guy in the front looked a lot like Elliot Gould.
**- I did some retouching to writing to make it more clean. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sunday afternoon flick

I took some down time this weekend from my thesis to recharge and I treated myself to a cute afternoon flick on Sunday.

I watched the movie What to Expect when Your Expecting. Kind of like the title suggest it is about couples getting ready to have a baby. 

The story focuses on five couples getting ready to have their first child. Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) is apparently a baby expert with her own baby supply store but has actually never had her own baby, has been trying with her husband for two years, and as soon as they stop trying she gets pregnant. Only to find out her husband's much younger step-mom is pregnant and is not suffering from any typical pregnant problems, which irks her to no end. Jules (Cameron Diaz) is a weight loss reality TV host and meets her baby daddy, Evan (Matthew Morrison), while doing a celebrity dance contest. Holly (Jennifer Lopez) and her husband, Alex, are preparing to adopt, but Alex is a little hesitant about having a baby so Holly sends him off to "Daddy Group" enter Vic (Chris Rock) and his gang. I remember the trailers and I kind of thought all the cute parts were going to be in the trailers and that with Chris Rock and his gang it might be a bit crude... but I was surprised by the tender moments and the sappy moments that made me tear up.

What I liked- I didn't see her in the trailer so I was surprised when Anna Kendrick (Rosie) and Marco (Chace Crawford) showed up. They are the young couple and don't have any true connection with other characters so could have easily been left out of the plot, I am glad they were kept in, as they provided some tender moments in the story.
Also I ended up liking the dads... they were a little ridiculous at the beginning but when push comes to shove they are good guys. And Chris Rock saying "he thought he was happy till he became a dad" was super sweet. 
The dads
I think the part I liked the most was watching the transformation of Alex... at first he is unsure of having a baby and the whole adoption process but at the end he loves his little boy.
Alex at the beginning

What I didn't like- There were a lot of characters and while most of them live in Atlanta and have a few bonds in between, there wasn't a need for all the plot lines. For instance: Ramsey (Dennis Quaid) and his much younger wife... mother-ish-in-law to Wendy, and his story line probably wasn't needed though it did provide some background to Wendy's and her husband's. Also while I liked the Jules and Evan plot line and they had some cute moments, they really had no connection to the other characters as they lived in LA. Though all the characters had some darling moments I think a plot line could have been dropped in order to develop characters a little deeper. As a former Gleek though I liked seeing Matthew Morrison in another role.
Over all: Cute movie- I think I would classify it as good Sunday Afternoon Flick if you don't want to watch football. Though I don't know how realistic it is... I am sure my sister, a duola, would probably find fault in it (film is not really realistic for the labor process). 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Book Thief (Movie Review)... Get your tissues

I watched The Book Thief  over the weekend and let me just say it is a movie that I think everyone should watch... with tissues that is. It is not a movie I could watch over and over again (so I probably won't be buying) because it is a really powerful movie. It stars Geoffrey Rush as Hans Huberman, Emily Watson as Rosa Huberman, Sophie Nelisse as Liesel and the voice of Roger Allam as Death or the Narrator. The movie is based off the book The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, that I read last winter but missed the movie. I was intrigued by the book because it was about WWII from the German perspective, this didn't seem to be a perspective I had been taught about much. Also from the back of the book I could tell Liesel loved words and the stories that could be told with words so much she was willing to steal them to protect them from Nazis destruction.

I actually liked that it had been awhile since I had read the book because I didn't remember all the details of the book so I could enjoy the movie itself without comparing and contrasting it to the book.
Liesel and Hans
Liesel saving a book from fire
The story starts off with Hans and Rosa taking in Liesel, because her mom is a communist and no longer safe in Nazi Germany. Liesel bonds with Hans more in the film. She has to call them "mama" and "papa" but you can tell the way she says "papa" she is happy to say it. When he discovers she can't read he helps her learn and they instantly bond over words. She makes a friend in Rudy (the boy next doors) and while things seem good there is a tension under it all... Hans doesn't like the Nazis politics, which is clear when it is the Fuher's birthday they have to find the flag buried in the basement. Then later in the story they take in and hide Max, a Jew. This she has to keep absolutely secret because if it was ever discovered they were hiding a Jew their lives would be in danger.
Liesel and Max

I won't go to much into the plot as I don't want to give away spoilers about the movie (for those who haven't read the book). I would say though the story is told with the narrator being Death so not everyone has a happy ending however as he starts off the movie saying "everyone dies."
You can tell when there is a shot of a character touching books like this they love them
What I liked- The story was compelling. Some reviewers said that it could have packed a better punch but I feel a story cannot do everything... it wasn't a story about over throwing Hitler. It was a story about a girl and her love of words and in that resisted the Nazis' ideals. What I loved about this story was Liesel's love of words. She started off the story not knowing how to read but even still she was protective of the first book she stole. When she is hiding from an air raid she starts telling a story to comfort her neighbors. I love stories where the main character loves books and stories and uses them to help the people around them.

Liesel telling stories in hiding.
Also I loved the focus of the story being about the German perspective in WWII. There might be many books and movies about this and I might be clueless to them but I felt this was a fresh perspective. And it wasn't just a German perspective it was Germans who in albeit small ways stood against the Nazis regime.

The wise words of Max: 

Liesel sneaking into Mayor's library
What I didn't like- I know there were some details from the novel that were left out of the movie, but I didn't think this detracted from the story. However, I think the relationship between the Mayor's Wife and Liesel could have been developed more. The Mayor's Wife witnesses Liesel saving a book from the fire and lets her come in to their library and read (very much against the preaching of her husband). Then when they are caught reading Liesel starts stealing or "borrowing" books from the Mayor's library. In the book the Mayor's wife actually leaves the window open for Liesel to sneak in and out of... and I think a detail like this would not have been hard to have in the movie.

Also there was one scene that was violent and threw me. I know the movie's subject is about WWII and an Jew running away for this would naturally lead to violence but there is a difference between reading it and seeing it. Sometime when reading violence (since I can't really imagine it) I can sort gloss over it. While the scene made sense for the story I guess I don't like seeing the brutality of man towards others. It just hurts my heart.

Over all- Loved this film, though probably won't be watching it over and over again because I like to breathe and there were many moments while watching this film I held my breath to find out what was going on. The film is rated PG-13 and not so much for language because all the bad words are in German (though they are translated in the book) it is more for content. When I told my friend I was going to be watching it, she said "let me know if you think my daughter would like it?" Knowing her daughter and how emotional she can be and I fear this book would hurt her idealistic view of human kind.

If you watch it... I recommend having tissues close by. Though the narrator is Death, I am happy to say what Liesel lives to an old age. And I like the way Death closes the movie..


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Words of Wisdom: Win a date with Tad Hamilton

When the movie Win a Date with Tad Hamilton movie came out I didn't see it because I was in love with Josh Duhamel (in fact I don't think I even knew who he was back in 2004)... I was in love with Topher Grace. 
Topher Grace vs. Josh Duhamel
I recently re-watched this movie in need of some lighthearted romantic comedy, and I realized how insightful it is mostly due to the wise bartender, Angelica, played by Kathryn Hahn. So here are some insightful quotes...

This is referring to love.
This quote reminds me of a post I wrote back in 2011...

From my post "Timid or Playing it safe"
{link to post}
Even though it has been 3 years I am still a little timid. I have admitted that recently I have felt scared to take chances. Though I want to change it is hard to let go of my scars and embrace the good thing in my life. 

I like this quote because it reminds me that even when you don't feel special you are special to someone. Before my mom (my most avid reader) worries that I don't feel special... trust me I do. I have lately been overwhelmed with the love of my family and friends. This is just a nice reminder. *

I know we as an audience are suppose to feel bad for Pete (Topher Grace) because he is watching his "great love" falling for someone else and he in a very cute scene tells Tad Hamilton that he will step aside because he wants Rosalee to be happy. That is a true friend and a true love.

Mostly sharing this because it is just so cute

*-Writing this post I realize all these insightful quotes are really just from one scene when Angelica is telling Pete to tell Rosalee how he feels.