Baywatch: A total letdown

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This review will be brief because I truly don’t want to spend more time on this film. I know King Arthur was voted the first big flop of the summer but I would argue (while I haven’t seen it) that Baywatch was the biggest flop of the summer. This movie tries too hard to be funny and I sat there staring at my watch thinking, am I really seeing what I am seeing. Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron both disappoint and I have seen them in other films. The scripts were pretty lame, and neither character has much depth to them. Truly, I felt that there was no substance to this movie. It objectives women and the plot makes little to no sense. Okay, the plot actually makes zero sense. All the characters were pretty flat. I know this will sound harsh, but I felt like I was watching the idea for a film, and not an actual finished production. It was very sloppy, not funny, and very cheesy (and not in a good way). All I can suggest at this point is that you don’t see this movie, in theaters or otherwise.

I would recommend Wonder Woman instead. (See my review of that epic and brilliant film)

Worth the Wait: Wonder Woman, an inspiration! 

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When I entered the theater to see Wonder Woman I didn’t know my expectations would be exceeded so much. This movie I declare as a remarkable hit and has great life lessons beyond the magic of the theater. The movie Wonder Woman was so inspirational and absolutely brilliant. I was completely blown away, from the beginning where young Diana begins her training to going to the front to save people from suffering in the world to end all wars once she grows up and is faced with real danger. Not just because it shows woman kick butt. But because of how the iconic character of Wonder Woman brought to life by Gal Gadot. The dialogue was really well done, and Chris Pine was able to create a great character in Steven. His pack of misfits that he brings on the journey are also well developed. The movie is packed with action and brilliant cinematography. The scenes with the bath from Diana’s native land, juxtaposed with the battle scenes later in the film show the remarkable range this movie has. It’s extremely witting, intelligent, and entertaining. She says, “I’m willing to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves”. In this way and many others, Diana shows cunning, caring, and strength. When she is questioned, she says “I am man.” This sends a powerful message to all women about the strength that we do have as women that we need to embrace and harass to make the world a better place. Just because we cannot save the world like Wonder Woman because we don’t have her powers, doesn’t mean we can’t still to great things as regular people making a difference as strong, courageous women. The work that is so often done by men is done by one woman in this movie, and it demonstrates how that can translate to real life. We need to ignore those who believe we can’t and prove them wrong with actions, like Wonder Woman does over and over. It goes without saying that I say, Wonder Woman is a 100% worth seeing! I give it two thumbs up!

X-men: (a review I forgot to post)

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X-men Days of future past exceeded my expectations in every way. I am sure many people were skeptical of this film as many of my friends were unsure of whether to bother at all. I say, bother. See this movie. The movie begins ominously and it appears the X-men are finished. It is raw with emotion and a beautiful soundtrack. “Humanity has always feared those that are different.” This quote strikes a chord with so many of us. Anyone who has ever felt lost and alone or like they didn’t believe will watch X-men and realize they have the power to change their situation.

X-men appeals to so many because of their powers, fantasies I am sure many have whether it is to fly or bend metal. Logan is faced with the task of saving the X-men’s future by diving into the past and discovering his mentor’s beginnings.

The mutants have this constant struggle of how to approach adversity. There is a whole layer added when Logan’s (Wolverine) mind goes back in time to change history. Honestly, I thought this was going to be cheesy and be overloaded with over the top action scenes. It is actually amazing the way the director, cast, and everyone balanced every element from mind-blowing action scenes to scenes wrought with emotion and pain. The X-men give this intense, powerful monologue that really tug on your heartstrings and cause you to be torn.

Everything, Everything: A Review

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My initial thoughts upon seeing this trailer was that this was going to be a really cheesy and pointless movie, and it was not.

Maddie, the title character lives in her home and never leaves due to a medical condition. The plot of this movie really rushes important plot points it could have expanded on for a much stronger movies. Instead it uses popular music and other summer tricks uses to convince teens to see movies. I’m not a teen, 28 in fact, but what I admire about this movie is how it captures young love. I thought the use of fantasy in the film was fantastic. I really appreciated that Maddie’s relationship with Olly, seemed close to what a real relationship would be like.

Overall, I did enjoy this movie but I don’t know if it was something to see in a theater or just rent at home once it comes out on DVD. Many parts of the plots were questionable and it seemed there were great leaps. But there were some simple, brilliant moments in this film that I really enjoyed.

Something that is not a fault of the film is all the hyper teenagers I was surrounded by during the movie. They were loud, obnoxious, distracted, vuglar, and I truly think I would have enjoyed the movie much more and been really able to escape if not for the people around me. I think this movie teaches about love, life, and forgiveness so if you want to see it in theater or maybe on DVD, I think the character is relateable. and the fantasy element of this movie, as well as the way the young couple communicates is really unique and something I haven’t seen before. I will say the couple seems really mature for 18 year olds.

Everything, Everything wasn’t everything I thought it would be. But I think it is worth checking out. I say, See it. Maybe on DVD is better.

Throwback Thursday: Nina’s dark dream world

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I cannot dance to save my life, but I love watching dance and have never seen Swan Lake. You have probably seen hundreds of films, plays, and musicals, but you haven’t experienced anything until you have witnessed Black Swan. Natalie Portman is gripping from start to end. The film is captivating and takes us into Nina’s (Portman’s) world of Dance which we are quick to enter and her mentally ill mind. Masterfully directed by Darren Aronofsky, many angles of this film are ones you consider once the movie is over. It is like a song in your mind and parts of it splash on to you like a hurricane. You cannot look away no matter how disturbing because you want to be side by side with every minute of action and at times you feel that energy. I watched the end in disbelief, knowing it was worth it and that “I felt it, it was perfect.” She wanted it so badly. To become the lead ballerina and the Choice is Swan Lake. We meet Beth, the older dancer who has a horrendous accident the night that Nina has an important dinner presenting her as swan queen to the public. Her teacher is a womanizer and his lexicon is suggestive but Nina wants the Swan Queen role. Enter Mila Kunias.  Lily who has emotions “she’s not faking it” says the teacher, Tom. They are told the story of the black Swan and Nina is chosen to the anger and jealous of other dancers. It is assumed that Nina is having liaisons with Tom. His nefarious behavior or kissing her and groping her is despicable, a man we love to hate.  She is this look of fear that never really goes away. She has no role model.

I was taken aback by her mother’s disturbing influence. Her mother has Nina under her watchful eye and it is alarming to see that while Nina is self- mutilating, her mother just is drugged out in the other room. The little music box plays and sends our protagonist into dreams with the dark, devilish prince that causes her to awake in fright. The male teacher in charge of the company suggests that Nina touch herself, but hurting herself is something Nina begins to fancy. The clothes are extravagant and the film has amazing graceful ballet. It explores a dark side. Nina is falling apart and I can’t help but want to put myself through the screen and hug her. It appears that it is too late for that as The White Swan Nina plays masterfully. It is the black Swan that troubles her and fogs her mind. There are many aspects of this film that you don’t know if they actually occurred or not. Her having sexual intercourse with Lily after lily puts a drug in her drink to let her “roll”. Also, when her mom takes the door knob away and tells Nina she called and said Nina wasn’t well, Nina gets out of the apartment or rather storms out. It is opening night. Here she has a scene with Lily that I will never forget.

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you would cross the line for reaching it? This dream she has had for so long is her moment! No one can swoop up and steal her precious time that she slaved away practicing and bleeding in the name of ballet. Perhaps Lily, the new girl, embodies the qualities of the black swan. This film teaches and shows us the dark element of dance. I would never want to dance or have dreams like Nina.  It takes you far past the edge into this world of obsession and madness that Nina cannot turn away from. What I love about this film is that there isn’t time and money and talk about the weather as things that bother you or make you stop and question things. It’s organic in the way it chooses to alarm and electrify your very being. Amid her woes you see that see loves dancing and it is everything to her. This lavish, decadent life she receives a glimpse of but on the downward spiral I want to scream but know it is too late. It’s over before you can help or see anyone who can. Truly it sways and rocks you into a troubled slumber of your own. Not for the weak of heart, I recommend Black Swan to anyone who has ever had a challenge in their life and given up or grown obsessed with that very challenge.

Hidden Figures

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The idea behind this diversity exercise came about one Sunny Tuesday afternoon. Abby and I wanted to see this movie after seeing the preview, waiting for the latest Ben Affleck movie to start. Later on during studying, she suggested we make it a qlc event. So, on a warmer than usual Tuesday where classes were sparse but enthusiasm was everywhere, seven Shimer students embarked on the short train ride to Roosevelt to see Hidden Figures. I still recall seeing the trailer for this movie and being particularly excited about the concept: Three women of color with brilliant minds overcoming racism to use their brilliant minds to get a man in space at the NASA program. In addition to keeping our rivalry with Russia very clear, the movie Hidden Figures did something I was surprised with because it did a good job focusing on the work lives of the three women. Often, movies with strong women still put emphasis on their family and this movie did a nice job of showing their families in a pleasant way that helped us gain perspective on them as women. However, it was more in the background and their crowning achievements in their careers were celebrated in this movie. Kate was extremely good at math and worked in that department at NASA. She was a widow with three children and she was asked to check the equations of an all white male division of NASA. She had to overcome the adversity of the colors only coffee pot the men installed one day, and the biggest struggle she had to get her work done was the bathroom situation. The colored bathroom was almost a mile away in another building. This becomes a problem because she cannot affectively do her work, with the amount of time spent running to the bathroom.
Kevin Costner had a wonderful role as a mentor of sorts, I thought, being kind to Kate, the mathematician. But, unfortunately, I found out that his character was not part of a true story. He was a “white hero” invented by Hollywood and based on the texts I am reading in IS6 and in Fem Theories, it was particularly difficult to deal with the fact that they couldn’t stay true to the history and create a white hero who knocks down the colored bathrooms sign, but in real life that didn’t even happen. The adversity these three women faced as women of color is clear from the beginning with their car breaking down and the white male police officier demanding respect. Sadly, in a more passive aggressive way, the second brilliant woman is denied a promotion and it is clear the tension between the white and black women in this movie. The third women, who wants to be an engineer has to take courses at what is a segregated high school. So, to achieve her dream of becoming an engineer she must petition the courts to allow her to study at an all white school. Despite all the backlash and struggle, these three women were pioneers of math, computers, and engineering. I only wonder if they weren’t held back so much if they could have achieved even greater things if their race was not in the way.

Movies I saw in 2016

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  • Concussion
  • The Revenant
  • Joy
  • The Finest Hours
  • Deadpool
  • How to be Single
  • Eddie the Eagle
  • Zootopia
  • Allegiant
  • Eye in the Sky
  • Hello, My name is Doris
  • The Boss
  • The Jungle Book
  • Hunstman: Winter’s Tale
  • Alice through the looking glass
  • The Nice Guys
  • Me before You
  • Finding Dory
  • Free State of Joneses
  • Mike and Dave need wedding dates
  • Ghostbusters
  • The BFG
  • Now you see me 2
  • Nerve
  • The Secret Life of Pets
  • Café Society
  • Suicide Squad
  • War Dogs
  • Bridget Jones Baby
  • Snowden
  • Masterminds
  • The Girl on the Train
  • Keeping up with the Joneses
  • The Accountant
  • Doctor Strange
  • Fantastic Beasts and where to find them
  • Moana
  • La La Land

(I will provide recommendations)