Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The NeverEnding Peak TV

I just read this article about the movies and Netflix shows being released over the next few weeks and I feel like doing this:

There's just too much!

Shows that are on right now that I'm trying to keep up with each week:

-The Americans
-Jane the Virgin
-The Flash
-American Gods
-The Handmaid's Tale
-Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
-Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
-Silicon Valley
-Bob's Burgers
-Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Shows that I need to catch up on:

-Dear White People
-Better Call Saul
-Black Mirror

Shows that I am caught up with and are starting again within the next month:

-Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
-Master of None
-Orange is the New Black
-Orphan Black

Shows that I haven't seen anything of that I need to watch:

-Twin Peaks
-Home Fires

Keep in mind, this isn't counting brand new shows that are starting soon and I'll want to watch, like Glow.

I'm also studying for the GRE, traveling, going outside, working, reading, sleeping, watching movies, being social, and possibly starting school in the fall. So when you recommend a show to me and I tell you I'll put it on my list, don't expect me to actually start it anytime soon.

I have no time for Peak TV, but Peak TV won't let me go.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


I have a confession to make. I love It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. 

I love it so much. And I'm coming clean about it.

I used to think my love for that show made me a bad feminist and a bad progressive.

Why, you ask? Because of things like this:

Don't worry, I'm easing you into things.

If you're thinking to yourself right now, "I am offended," don't watch any more videos. Maybe just skip down and read the rest of the blog.

By the way, they show part of that movie later on in the series. Both Mac and Dee show up in black face.

There's a fair amount of really terrible things in this show.

And they don't all have to do with race.

Okay, those are legit some of the most controversial moments in the show and with zero context, I understand why some of you may be thinking that I'm a terrible person for loving them (I especially love that last one). Absolutely nothing is off limits. Sexism, racism, child molestation, sexual assault, drug addiction... it's all been covered.

Here's the thing though - this show doesn't make you laugh at women, people of color, people who have been molested or assaulted, or drug addicts. We're laughing at these horrible, vile people and at the consequences of them being sexist, racist, narcissistic psychopaths. Consequences like being ripped off in a drug deal and becoming addicted to crack, being hit in the face with a volleyball, and watching their boat burn and sink. The one constant in this show is these are horrible people and nothing good ever happens for them because of their horribleness. There's even a Christmas Carol-esque episode that ends horribly for the gang because they are horrible people.

I'd actually go so far as to say this show is kind of a secretly progressive one.  It's essentially the show version of "rape jokes are okay if you're making fun of the rapist." As viewers, we don't relate to any of these characters. Not a single one. We're not supposed to. That level of separation allows people (particularly white people) to watch and see the sometimes subtle, sometimes overt things these people do that are sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. and subconsciously want to do everything they can to NOT emulate them. They're always called out on their terribleness and they're always punished in some way.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is covertly teaching White America to be less terrible.

It's also just ridiculously funny and has been for 12 years.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

An Open Letter to the Women (and Men) Who Rolled Their Eyes at the Women's March

Dear Women (and Men),

As we keep seeing in the media (well, at least the media I expose myself to), we live in an echo chamber. We surround ourselves with people who think the same way we do. We read and watch media that thinks the way we do. We decide to live in communities that think the same way we do. As such, I've realized that some of you may have seen the Women's March from one perspective and may  not even know anyone personally who participated. Consider this a respectful explanation and different way of looking at it.

I was quiet about this for a long time but I have seen too many Facebook posts and heard too many women (and men) that are still annoyed with or straight up hostile towards the Women's March and those who participated, like myself, to remain silent on this.

I've heard we were just a bunch of whiners.
If that's what you want to call this country's tradition of protesting and demanding certain rights, so be it.

I've heard there are so much better uses of our time and resources like donating a can of food to a food shelter.
We can't do both? (For the record, don't donate canned goods. Give money. People using food shelters prefer fresh food too.)

I've heard we need to get jobs.
Not that it's any of your business, but everyone I knew who went works full time.

I've heard we were paid to protest.
Funny, considering that last statement.

I've heard there was no reason for us to march because life is good for women today.
Ironically, life is so good for you because of countless women who marched (some were beaten, imprisoned, and even died) for your rights. And sure, the threat isn't as big for me. But that's not because I'm a woman living in 2017.

It's because I have a good job that provides great health care.

It's because my health insurance pays for birth control.

It's because even if my health insurance decides to not cover birth control, I make enough that I can pay for it out of pocket.

It's because I probably won't ever need an abortion due to my access to birth control.

It's because I won't be condemned or discriminated against because of the person I love.

It's because my gender matches my genitals.

It's because my skin is white and my hair is straight.

It's because the faith I belong to (if any) isn't obvious based on my appearance.

It's because I have no fear that I or anyone in my immediate family will be deported.

It's because I don't have a serious mental illness.

It's because if I lost my home I have people in my life I could fall back on to help me get back on my feet.

I am privileged in a multitude of ways. I marched for myself on January 21st, but I marched more for those who face a far bigger threat. Even though the threat isn't as big for me or anyone else in similar situations, make no mistake - the threat is still real. You don't even have to agree with abortion, homosexuality, being transgender, atheism, Islam, or illegal immigration. All you have to agree with is treating others the way you would like to be treated. And that's why we march.

We march for ourselves, we march for those who have fewer privileges than us, and we march for those who don't think we need to march.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Movies of 2016

1. Labyrinth

Now, I don't generally post about movies that I see that are in a theater for some special reason, although I highly recommend you keep you eye out for things like that because seeing Singing in the Rain and Shawn of the Dead on the big screen is awesome. But Labyrinth was in the Tower Theater for no ordinary special reason. It was there because the legendary David Bowie died on January 10th. Seeing this in the theater was not something I was going to miss.

I'm writing this as of February 16th and I still haven't listened to any music other than Bowie.

2. Carol

Cate Blanchett is the Queen of Everything, so of course I was going to see this movie. It was a good one. And one that ended happily, to my surprise. Knowing the plot, I expected Carol to give up love to be able to have custody of her daughter, but she gave up the chance of custody for love. It's deplorable that that was even a choice she had to make, and it once again reaffirmed my deepest gratitude that I was not alive during the 50s, even though I'm not gay. Another great thing about this movie is that it's a good, happy, lesbian love story that, even though it was limited release, still appeared in theaters. That doesn't happen often.

Side note: Rooney Mara needs to do a Audrey Hepburn biopic.

3. Room

This is a movie that I had to kind of mentally prepare myself for before going into the theater. Brie Larson plays a woman who has been held prisoner for 6 or 7 years and has a 5 year old son. She does an amazing job of portraying the PTSD and other issues that anyone in her position would have and the little boy is crazy good at making you believe he is experiencing the world for the first time. Very powerful film.

4. The Revenant

An intense and entertaining movie that Leo will probably get an Oscar for. That's pretty much all I have to say about this movie apart from Tom Hardy and gross rape scene.

5. The Land

I couldn't find a poster for this one, so here's a still from the movie. An excellent Sundance choice, considering this was picked solely for the time and location of its playing. It's about 5 teenage boys who want to become professional skateboarders and fall into drug dealing. Sad things happen and it ends with one sacrificing his future to let the others out of the drug business. It's poignant and insightful and paints these kids who are criminals at the beginning of the movie in a sympathetic, yet realistic light. If you have the chance to watch this, I recommend that you do. 

6. Suited

Second of two Sundance movies this year. This one was a documentary that was also worth watching, but I did feel like it could have been shorter. It's about these two people who make suits and ended up kind of catering to the gender ambiguous/trans crowd. It'll be on HBO soon. I guess I should say that it was on HBO many months ago, since I won't be publishing this for another 11 months.

7. Hail, Caesar! 

Rarely do movies fill me with this kind of glee, but the Cohen Brothers have done it again. This movie was SO much fun, especially when we got to spend a few minutes watching Channing Tatum sing and dance a la Gene Kelley. I want Tatum to do more of that.

8. Deadpool

The opening weekend for this movie broke all sorts of records: highest grossing R rated movie, highest grossing opening weekend for Fox... okay, it broke just two records that I can think of. But the studio did not expect this movie to do as well as it did (and because of that, they're going to make a bunch of R-rated, fourth wall breaking, raunchy superhero movies that will fail to capture the magic of this film). I have seen Deadpool pop up in comics that I have read and I know his reputation, but I have never read one of his comics. He's been on my list, but I just haven't gotten around to it. I probably will now because I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I want more. It was so very funny and it was very much time for a satirical superhero movie. Honestly, I probably liked this better than any of the Marvel films apart from the first Avengers and Winter Soldier.

I just spent a good 20 minutes watching clips and trailers of this movie. Good grief, I loved it.

9. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Nothing out of the ordinary, but I'd be a fan if they made a movie of Tina Fey playing on her phone while on the toilet.

10. Zootopia

This movie looked cute, but I did not expect to like this as much as I did. It had a cute message without being preachy and it was hilarious. What more could you ask for in a Disney movie?

11. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

This movie. Ugh, guys - THIS MOVIE! The only reason I was able to make it through the whole thing without falling asleep was because I saw it with my sister and we were making fun of it the whole time. Because it deserved to be made fun of the whole time. Except for Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman was everything I wanted and more (except the main character). She was smart, she was badass, she was useful, and she was sexy without being sexualized, which is really surprising considering who the director is. I mean, look what he did with Lois Lane. Amy Adams could have been replaced by a pumpkin with a worried face painted on and absolutely nothing would have changed. Superman was a pile of morally ambiguous rocks. Lex Luthor was less evil genius and more stupid manic psychopath. Ben Affleck was pretty good as an old, weathered Batman, but I'd like to see him with Snyder NOT at the helm. Luckily he'll be directing himself soon enough.

12. Keanu

I love Key and Peele and I was very much looking forward to this movie. Like most comedies, it wasn't gold, but it was a solid laugh. I don't think anyone will be talking about this movie in the months to come, but it's a good one.

13. Captain America: Civil War

Objectively, this is probably one of Marvel's best, but I'm still too saturated with white male superheros to have loved it. I really enjoyed it, though. Ant-Man was fantastic in this and I actually am looking forward to Spider-Man after seeing him in this. Still mad at them for pushing Black Panther and Captain Marvel back, though. Black Panther was also great. Chadwick Boseman's occasional monotone voice was a bit distracting at times, but other than that I think he did a great job. I can't wait for that one.

14. The Nice Guys

There have been some great movies this year, but this movie is damn near perfect. This movie made me laugh my old man laugh, and that's usually reserved for bigger groups of hilarious people. I'm usually not a huge fan of either Crowe or Gosling, but they are both on point in this movie. Gosling needs to do comedy all the time, because he just about made me pee my pants. Of course, that had a lot to do with the near perfect writing and directing job of Shane Black. I need to rewatch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang to see which one is better, and I feel okay about that. Seriously, this movie. It was both Hilarious and poignant in multiple ways. I was so excited about this movie that I had to pull out my (work) laptop and write this up as soon as I got home. I usually save that until I've had a bit of space from a movie, but no. Not this one. I'd go and watch it again right now if it wasn't way past my bedtime. The year isn't even half way over, but I can say with a good amount of confidence that if you only see one movie in the theater this year, make it The Nice Guys.

15. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Writing this led to me watching a bunch of Lonely Island videos again, and few things make me happy like their songs make me happy. Predictably, this movie made me happy too. Go see it.

16. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

I might be one of the few people who liked this one better than the original. It probably helped that I saw this one first and the original a few days later. Either way, I'm owning both of them and I officially like Zac Effron. If my experiences with him and Channing Tatum have taught me anything, it's I'll fall for any hottie in a comedy, even if I really don't like that hottie before the comedy. 

17. Love and Friendship

I've never read the novella this movie is based on (Lady Susan), but I'm a sucker for anything with Jane Austen's name on it. I'm sure it was very liberally adapted, but it was still hilarious. I'll probably add this to my period drama section on my DVD shelf even though it's a period comedy. 

18. The Lobster

I was expecting to love this movie and I probably did, but I still don't know. If this movie was supposed to make me come away feeling weird and confused about my feelings, it did its job. There was a lot I liked about this movie but a lot I didn't. At least I think I didn't... Maybe this is what my sister and her husband felt like after watching Under the Skin before I had a chance to give them fair warning about what it was. 

19. Maggie's Plan 

Look at that cast. How is any movie not going to be amazing with that cast? Seriously, Maggie's Plan almost rivals The Nice Guys for my favorite movie of the year so far. It wasn't side splittingly hilarious, but it definitely was funny and I'm pretty sure I was smiling the whole time. It was cute and charming while being made up by three characters who aren't entirely likable. They were real and flawed and just so much fun. It's a romantic comedy turned on its head and I enjoyed every second.

20. Independence Day: Resurgence 

This movie was the worst.

21. Ghostbusters

I didn't like it as much as I wanted to (the third act and the needless cameos really took away from the film), but it was still a ton of fun. The scene where they're interviewing Chris Hemsworth's character had me keeled over crying. He needs to do lots more comedy. And Kate McKinnon is everything I've ever wanted.

22. Star Trek Beyond

I should say that I haven't been a huge fan of the new Star Trek movies. The first one was good for what it was, a Star Wars-ized version of Star Trek, and the second was just garbage. When I heard Simon Pegg was co-writing, I had high hopes for this one while still knowing that it wouldn't be the philosophical Star Trek that I know and love. It wasn't, but it was still the most Star Treky Star Trek of the three films. Plus it was fun. Definitely had some flaws (Uhura was criminally underused and do you really expect us to believe that Sulu would just put his arm around his husband instead of kissing him after not seeing him for how long??), but it was still entertaining and my favorite of the three so far. I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll have to watch the new show on CBS to get my actual Star Trek fix.

23. Bad Moms

Kristin Bell and Kathryn Hahn are national treasures, so I'll see anything with them. The fact that this movie also happened to be hilarious is just an added bonus. 

24. Suicide Squad

If this movie were an object, it would be a poorly wrapped joint that someone had given up on and threw into the gutter. Had the person rolling said joint done it well it probably would have provided a good time to a few people, but as it is, it provided a good time for no one and now everyone on the street just passes by without taking notice. However it's not the dumpster fire that was Batman v Superman. 

Oh, and Jared Leto is the worst. I may say other things are the worst, but Leto is the actual one. 

25. Don't Think Twice

Image result for don't think twice poster

The cast is perfect and it got near perfect reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. I expected it to be the perfect comedy, but it wasn't either of those things. It was great, don't get me wrong, but I probably should have done my research before watching it. I went in expecting comedy and sat through a drama with a couple of chuckle moments. Which, I guess by Hollywood's standards, makes it a comedy, so maybe I shouldn't be complaining.

26. Bridget Jones's Baby

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Bridget Jones's Diary was delightful. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason was less so. Bridget Jones's Baby goes back to its beautifully comedic roots. This movie was hilarious, heartwarming, and all-around perfect. I read an article about this movie, saying Bridget doesn't appeal to millennial women because millennial women don't need the man and the baby to be fulfilled, and it's true - I don't need a man and a baby to be fulfilled. Doesn't mean I didn't LOVE this movie. 

27. The Magnificent Seven

Image result for the magnificent seven poster 2016

I generally don't enjoy Westerns, but this was fun enough for a completely forgettable popcorn movie. I appreciated that four of the seven weren't white and that the three people that survive were all minorities. 

28. Ouija: Origin of Evil

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I'm always up for a good scary movie, and this was a good scary movie. Not as good as The Conjuring, but that's my gold standard for horror, so it's gonna take a lot to top it. 

29. Arrival

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Probably my favorite SciFi movie in a while, and maybe even my favorite first contact movie ever. This was SO good and such a unique and interesting plot. I loved all of it.

30. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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I don't love the Harry Potter movies so I wasn't crazy anxious to see this, but it was fun. I'll enjoy seeing the sequels well enough. Probably more than the Harry Potter movies.

31. Moana

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Disney really stepped up its game with this one. It was funny, heart warming, exciting, AND it had no love story. That's always my favorite thing about a princess movie. 

32. Rogue One

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This was an excellent Star Wars movie. Yeah, it was kind of distracting to see Peter Cushing as a CGI character, but I just had to suspend my disbelief a little more than usual and it was all good. The technology is definitely better than the last time I saw it used. The movie seemed super different from what was in the trailers and I'm very curious about how the original version was supposed to end (especially with Felicity Jones signing on for a possible sequel), but I thought this one ended just about as perfectly and as realistically as it could have. This was even more entertaining than Episode VII. Yes, VII was great, but it used a recycled plot and the stakes were SO high that it was hard to care about them. They also just didn't even try to make us care about the stakes. This one brought it down to a more individual level. That and my palms were sweating for the last 10 minutes even though I knew that the plans did, in fact, reach the Rebellion.  

33. La La Land (spoilers)

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Speaking of perfect endings... (spoilers)

This movie in no way had one and I'm still mad about it. It's been 3 days since I've seen it and I've been obsessing over it since then. This movie was charming and adorable and perfect and so unique and I loved it until that stupid ending. How did these two not end up together? She was gone for 4 freaking months! That doesn't mean you go off and marry someone else and have a baby and only five years later see the love of your life again when it's too late! Ugh. My friend and I complained afterwards and I told my mom the ending so she wouldn't be as mad as I was when she goes to see it. Cause I'm still mad.

January 4th and I'm still mad at that ending. I'm also mad that La La Land was the last movie I saw in theaters in 2016. What a crap way to top off a crap year.

Three fewer than last year and eight fewer than the year before. In fact, 33 is the fewest number of movies I've seen in the theater since I started doing this in 2012. What's wrong with me?! 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Let's Just Take a Moment...

TO APPRECIATE THE PERFECTION that is the casting decisions for the new A Wrinkle in Time adaptation.

Before we get to the cast, Ava DuVernay is directing.

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Of Selma and Scandal fame, among others. If you don't know who she is, look her up and read some interviews. This woman is as classy as she is fierce.

Mrs. Whatsit will be played by Reese Witherspoon.

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Now, when they first announced this, my initial thought was that she is WAY too young. And yeah, it would have been awesome to see really old actresses playing really old characters. I imagine CGI will be involved. But just wait...

Mrs. Who will be played by Mindy Kaling.

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Mindy Kaling, guys. MINDY KALING!!! I've seen her play exactly two characters and both have a lot of similarities, so I am very much looking forward to seeing her play the eccentric Mrs. Who. Mindy is hilarious and I can't wait to see her act in a role that is so far from what she's done so far.

Mrs. Which will be played by Oprah Winfrey

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Oh, just Oprah. Who everyone loves even if you don't. Like Beyonce.

Anyway, are you spotting a pattern yet?

If not, I'm sure you will in a moment...

Meg Murray will be played by Storm Reid.

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She was in 12 Years a Slave, which I have only seen once and don't intent to watch again because it is just that amazing and difficult to watch. I can't speak to her skill, but if she's good enough to land a role in that film, she's going to be amazing.

Mrs. Murray (mother slash brilliant scientist) will be played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

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Of Belle and Concussion. Mostly Belle because she was absolutely amazing in that film.

So yeah, brilliant cast, but look at how many white people there are so far: one. ONE! How often does that happen?? THIS IS WHAT WE WANT, HOLLYWOOD!!!

A Wrinkle in Time is a phenomenal story and could prove to be a very lucrative franchise for Disney. Want to know what makes a movie even more money than just being a good franchise? Diversity. Don't take my word for it, though. (What, you think I'm gonna link you to something? Do your own damn research!)

It's a story about an incredible family, all of whom are ridiculously smart. Want to know how many black scientists in movies I can think of off the top of my head? Zero. I've got one from TV, but that's it.

THIS is what the world looks like. And THIS is what I want. THIS is what we need.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

An Ode to Beards

My boyfriend and I are going to Switzerland for a week and a half. I know, I know, it's all very exciting, but I was surprised by the following text from said boyfriend today: "Should I grow out my beard the whole time we are in Switzerland?" I responded with a moderately enthusiastic response intended to hide my true feelings, which were roughly this:

Because, come on. Beards are way dang freaking sexy. But you don't have to take my word for it...

Ewan McGreggor

I mean, he's kind of amazing in any iteration, but bearded and black and white? Come on!

Tom Hardy

There are just too damn many sexy pictures of a bearded Tom Hardy.

Jon Hamm

This is one of the many reasons why you pick Jon Hamm over Don Draper.

Simon Pegg

Those who know me know I'd take Simon Pegg in any form, but sexy bearded Simon Pegg is my favorite Simon Pegg.

Patrick Stewart

What makes the most distinguished man alive even more so? Facial hair.

Idris Elba

It's probably not fair that he was blessed with so many sexy attributes apart from sexy beards, but I'm not complaining.

Joe Manganiello

Ugh, the guy is stupid hot. This isn't even the best picture I found, but I thought it might be irresponsible of me to post it here.

The Chrises 

I may be getting tired of Marvel movies, but they sure do know how to cast bearded eye candy.

Hugh Jackman

I'd even take the Wolverine sideburns if I had to.

Nick Offerman

Mustache, beard, scruff, this guy can do it all.

Adam Scott

That squirrel gets it.

Michael B. Jordan

Double whammy with the rolled up sleeves.

Charlie Cox

He doesn't even need the washboard abs.

Justin Timberlake

That beard almost make it so his all-jean outfit never even happened.

Donald Glover

Magic Mike XXL really dropped the ball when they shaved his face for that movie.

Joel McHale

Want to know what the most attractive man I've ever seen in real life had? A beard.