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.

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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)

The Summer Letdown: Suicide Squad

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I have a brief thing  to say about this film, and that makes me sad because I looked forward to it all summer. After a few friends said this movie was not that great, I was still heading to the theater excited. The previews looked amazing. Unfortunately, this movie was over-hyped and did not live up to those huge expectations.  This film fell flat for me. I was looking for things I’ve seen in other superhero movies, like Deadpool. Things that are funny, scary, and captivating. I looked for certain film techniques, yes, but I desperately searched for plausibility. This film was not plausible at all. I know, you are thinking, it’s a super hero (villain) movie. However, it was so unbelievable it became unappealing. This film lack those things greatly, but it’s important to say the characters were not the issue. The members of things squad were well cast and the beginning of the movie was amazing. In the end, it blended so many different fragments and called that a plot. Will Smith’s character was on point. Jared Leto as the Joker was brilliant and Margo that plays Harley Quinn was truly brilliant. She was easily the best character. The choice of music in this film was so good, but it seemed that music was unnecessary at some points.I liked the cinematography of this film. The use of the camera in different ways was unique. The plot was it’s undoing. I say, skip Suicide Squad.

Lights, Camera, Critic!

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I remember it being a childhood ambition of mine. I would go to the theater and say yes, three stars and my friends would just giggle. Of course at that time I was highly influenced by male roles, and even now I become smitten a little with the character. Since I saw movies go from a single story to becoming an epic, I wished I could be like Ebert, a man with a career spanning 40 years! I love seeing movies in the theater, and unlike music where I love nearly everything, the field of criticizing films needs someone to distinguish between the bad, the average, and the exceptional. This is something I would be phenomenal at. The theater has an allure to me. I love comparing and contrasting films with my friends, and turning a love into a career would make it a lasting one.

Every weekend I try to watch a movie or two that I had never seen before and let my knowledge of movies develop and expand. No movie is off limits, they all take me to a different place. A different place, like a blissful place; I’m in the actors’ shoes and I love to “act” as if that’s me! Like books, movies teach life lessons and show you the world as you have never seen it before. Lessons of countries and brother torn by war, of heroes and the villains that make or break their character are invigorating for me. Of men banding together for a cause. A love story, complicated, flooded with the elements of our times. Not every movie is good, but each brilliant story has a reason for its brilliance. I believe my open-mindedness towards movies and the world in general, that my various friends have helped to establish would keep me unbiased.

My thoughts of Rear Window

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Rear Window was a phenomenal combination of Thriller, Romance, and Comedy. Throughout the movie, these three aspects were blended beautifully together. This blend really combines for an interesting thought spurring movie because of how clever the scenes between what is going on in the windows and what is going on in Jeff’s actual apartment are so different at the beginning and then become one in the same towards the end.

First off, this movie’s aspect of being a thriller is brilliant. Alfred Hitchcock really knows how to play with our psyche and slowly terrify us through different scenes with not just visuals such as Lisa digging in the yard or going into the suspected murderer’s apartment but with appropriate sound and camera and light angles to make the scene of the suspect Lars Thorwald scarier. It would not be as frightening seeing the neighbor do these things if not for the music and the way the camera is used to go between Jeff actually looking at this happen and then allowing us viewers to see what Jeff sees. That adds another angle of horror when you fear for Jeff’s safety at the end because how can a man with a broken leg fight an able-bodied man? So all the fear of being discovered that Jeff is spying on his neighbor because he believes the neighbor has murdered his wife comes together at the end.

The Romance Between Lisa and Jeff is confusing at times because Jeff says he wants an ordinary girl to be his nurse but that Lisa is too much for him. Lisa comes by frequently first simply noticing her boyfriend’s spying on all the neighbors which at first she finds funny but then as the situation of the murder comes she at first thinks Jeff has lost his mind. How could a man who is simply moving suit cases be the murderer? She comes to believe him and together they put the puzzle together. The detective Doyle that Jeff calls is no help he thinks Jeff is absolutely ridiculous and although Jeff calls him a number of times and he thinks it’s nothing it adds to the fear. But all this time is split with Lisa and Jeff laying together, kissing, and her staying over night and coming frequently for a perfect dose of romance in this film.

The comedy in this film that balances out the two other elements perfectly is visual as well as auditory. First we have the humor of all the things that Jeff witnesses as a spy of the neighborhood which that in itself I find a little funny because how often are you going to find a man who is peeping on his neighbors and the things the are doing are funny because if he wasn’t spying he wouldn’t see the lady in her underwear or the young couple making loving or any of the other hilarious scenes all because of a broken leg and some curiousity that leads to deep trouble. So throughout the film these three elements are intertwined perfectly to make for a brilliant and a very entertaining movie all the way to the end.