Book to Movie Review · movie reviews · tv review · Uncategorized · What I've Been Watching

What I’ve Been Watching: Winter 2016-2017

Because I always seem to do these in big groups, I thought why not just do seasonal wrap ups of what I’ve watched; winter meaning November-February (so far). As always, I will be listing all the movies first and then TV shows. I have links to my reviews. I decided to do something different this time and rank them from my least favorite to favorite of the season. So least favorites are at the top, favorites at the bottom of that specified list. I also added a letter rating to each. And sorry for being the most inconsistent person ever, these wrap ups always look different every time I do them. If anyone is interested in talking spoilers,  leave a comment tagging spoilers or hit me up on my Goodreads or email me at cqncarols@gmail.com or you can even message me on Tumblr =). 

Movies

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Fantasy, Family Movie, Book to Movie Adaptation | Director Tim Burton| Review

Overall, I was pretty disappointed; it was just so uninspiring. It seems that for every one great Hunger Games movie, we have to get at least 50 duds. D

Me Before You

Romance, Melodrama | Featuring Emilia Clarke, Sam Clafin | Review

I was also pretty meh about it. It wasn’t totally horrible thanks to the cinematography but I didn’t expect much and I got pretty much exactly what I thought I would get. No tears were lost in the process of watching. But maybe a good Valentine’s Day movie..if you have a bottle of strong liquor with you. C

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Wonder Woman: Animated Original Movie (2009)

DC Comics adaptation, Animation, Children’s | Director Lauren Montgomery, Written by Gail Simone

Because I’m freaking obsessed with Wonder Woman now, I thought that I would try and watch some of the movies. Sadly, this was just ok. But Wonder Woman was so well-animated as a person like girl crush alert. And she is just so badass. Steve Trevor, however, was just weird and a womanizer in a creepy and annoying way. If you take away all the lines he says about creepily flirting with women, you’d only have around 3 lines left. It’s pretty good for a TV movie but nothing great to rewatch or seek out if I hadn’t already had a predisposition to WW. B-

The Dressmaker (Australia 2015)

Historical Fiction, Revenge, Comedy-drama | Featuring Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth

This movie tries hard but ultimately does not sustain itself in my opinion, I mean this movie has won a bunch of awards. Kate Winslet is good in it and so was Liam Hemsworth but they are not enough to carry the whole movie. It also hosts a cast of quirky side characters that are not odd enough to be quirky and not interesting enough to be compelling. The story itself was also way too linear and simplistic to warrant such a long movie. It could have been cut in half. The ’50’s costume design was a feast for the eyes though. B-

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantasy, Family Movie | Director David Yates, Written by JK Rowling

So I finally got to watch this and honestly I was a little disappointed. I think it’s because there was no sense of urgency throughout. Grindelwald was mentioned at the beginning of the movie and then not again until really the end. There were just so many loopholes and inconsistencies in the magic system (why is everyone so careless about doing magic in front of Muggles, excuse me, No-Majs) it didn’t really even feel like the wizarding world sometimes. But it was so much fun getting to learn about the different creatures (can I please get a Niffler) and Eddie Redmayne is always great in whatever he does; he is such a precious cinnamon roll as Newt. I can’t really see anyone else as Newt. The other characters were good (how sweet is Jacob??) but the romances were kind of boring. I say that but the ending made me tear up a little. I did NOT think they would go there. Also, petition to open a Jacob Kowalski bakery please and thank you. And after watching this, I’m wondering how they have enough material to sustain 4? more movies. B

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Train to Busan (Korea 2016)

Post Apocalyptic, SciFi, Zombies | Director Yeon Sang-Ho Featuring Gong Yoo | Review

Train to Busan lacks in anything substantial thematically but it was still a lot of action fun and the immediacy of the zombie transformation heightens the suspense into more good fun. B+

Mustang (Turkey 2015)

Contemporary, Drama | Director Deniz Erguven | Review

A quietly feminist movie about 5 orphan girls dealing with the restrictions of freedom and sexuality placed on them. A-

Wadjda (Saudi Arabia 2012)

Contemporary, Drama | Director Haifaa Al-Mansour | Review

Wadjda-A charming and feminist movie about a girl who wants to own a bike. A

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La La Land

Musical, Magical Realism, Romance | Director Damien Chazelle, Featuring Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling | Review

Despite the simplicity of the storyline, La La Land boasts an inspiring color palette along with stunning technical visuals and two charming and romantic leads. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy and inspired inside and I love it for that. A

The Edge of Seventeen

Comedy, Coming-of-Age, High School | Featuring Hailee Steinfeld

I know this movie slipped under the radar among the giants of Oscar bait but that’s such a shame because it is a hilarious and honest coming-of-age movie. I know it seems like a teen comedy that doesn’t have much to offer but its authentic screenplay (these are things teens would actually say!!) and an amazing lead performance (Hailee Steinfeld) catapult it above the rest. The side characters have a kind of depth beyond their stereotype that is rarely seen in teen movies and the love interest is Asian!! Props to him for actually being a 30-year-old but looking like a 17-year-old. How is that even possible? It has a lot of heart and sincerity combined with really funny jokes. I love this movie and I’ll definitely be rewatching it again. A

Want to Watch:

Moonlight

Hacksaw Ridge

TV

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Seven First Kisses (Korea 2016)

Webdrama, Romance, Contemporary | Featuring Lee Cho-Hee, Lee Jong-Suk (aka bae), Lee Min-Ho, Ji Chang-Wook, Kai, Lee Joon-gi | Youtube | Finished

I’m going to be honest with you; I only watched this short webdrama (available on Youtube right now) because Lee Jong Suk was in it. He is too precious. And I loved his episode the most. But other than that, it was so cheesy and ultimately boring. I actually watched this in twice the normal speed which made it more entertaining lol.  Watch it if you have some eye candy you need to see more of. D

Sherlock Season 4

Mystery | Featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman | BBC, PBS | Finished | Review

What even happened this season??? What even is Sherlock?? C

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The Abominable Bride

TV Movie, Historical Fiction, Mystery | Featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman | BBC, PBS

Half of my enjoyment of this was due to the constant references to Sherlock’s hat and the ever cool transition and text scenes. The other half was due to the costume design. The rest was sort of forgettable. Shouldn’t it be obvious to everyone that it couldn’t have been a ghost? And if it wasn’t obvious, it shouldn’t be so obvious to the audience. Also, the ending really rubbed me the wrong way. B

W Two Worlds (Korea 2016)

Urban Fantasy, Thriller, Romance | Featuring Lee Jong Suk, Han Hyo-Joo | MBC | 16 episodes | Finished | Review -ish

I mentioned this in my honorable mentions of my favorite TV shows of 2016 and all the reservations that I had about it after episode 9 came true. Awkward…It was so illogical, inconsistent, Oh Yeon Joo’s character just devolved into a pawn for Kang Chul’s emotional development, and the ending was so abrupt and unsatisfying. However, something about it still kept me watching though so I give props to it. And even at its messiness, I still found it to be incredibly enjoyable and suspenseful. B

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The People vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

Crime/Court Drama | Featuring Sara Paulson, Sterling K. Brown, Kenneth Choi, John Travolta | FX | 10 episodes | Finished | Review -ish

A compelling, bingeworthy drama worthy of its hype and praise. A

Voltron: Legendary Defender Season 2

SciFi, Children’s, Animation | Produced by Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos | Netflix | 13 episodes | Currently finished with Season 2 | Review of Season 1

Oh man, this show is so dear to my heart and makes me so happy. I think I liked the second season even more than the first. The animation is definitely better especially the landscapes. It also got more heavily anime in my opinion but that’s definitely not a pro or a con. It is the definition of fun at its most finest. I love each and very one of these characters to death and I will defend them till I die. I don’t think I can wait another year for the next season to come out.  For the record, I ship Klance and Shallura 😉 A-/A (for ripping my heart in shreds)

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Insecure Season 1

Comedy, Contemporary | Created by Issa Rae, Larry Wilmore | HBO | 8 episodes | Season 1 Finished

I love Insecure soooo much. It’s about the friendship between two black women, their friendship, and exploring the realm of dating, jobs and everything in between during their late 20’s. It is funny with a diverse cast and so well executed. The humor is sarcastically dry which is just my type of humor. It slyly explores race, gender, and sexuality in a natural and underhand way. It was pretty steamy for a comedy but only in the last episodes and only sprinkled throughout as part of the narrative (although this is a show on HBO so what did I expect). It feels a lot like a Netflix show because one story arc will just bleed into the next episode to make the season one giant story and I binge watched in two days. Excluding the one distasteful Asian joke, I can’t wait for Season 2. A

The Americans Seasons 1 & 2

Spy Thriller, Melodrama | Featuring Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys | FX | 13 eps per season | Finished Season 4, Season 5 starts March 2017

Why didn’t I watch this sooner??? It is so amazing. An amazing combination of family drama and spy action and mystery during the Cold War. The main two leads are Soviet spies and was arranged to be married to keep up their spy covers. They move to the US where their next door neighbor is an FBI agent working for counterintelligence to capture spies.  I love it because so much attention is paid to character layering and the two main leads are fast becoming my new OTP even though their relationship so messed up. They often have to form relationships with other people, platonically or sexually or even romantically to get information they need. There’s definitely not as much action as I would like sometimes but it’s great anyways. A

Currently Watching: 

Tomorrow with you (Kdrama)

Powerless (NBC comedy)

The Crown (Netflix show on Queen Elizabeth)

Secret Love Affair (Kdrama)

As always if you think I would like something based on what I’ve watched, let me know!! I’m always down for recommendations. 

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Book to Movie Review · movie reviews · Uncategorized

Dual Movie Reviews: Ms. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children & Me Before You

So some book to movie adaptations came out this year and I decided to review two of them. These have been released for a while now but I’ve just got around to watching them. I will be talking about spoilers but if you’ve read the book, I don’t think it would ruin your experience. I have read the books for both of these so I’ll be doing a little comparison as well.

copenhagen-1

I had low expectations going into this movie because of reviews that I trust but I didn’t think that even my low expectations wouldn’t be met. It was tolerable while it lasted but alas, another disappointing YA book to movie adaptation. Omigosh where do I even start with this. Should I start with the pros? Ok, the pros. Uhmmmm, well I did like the costume and set design. I loved the vintage look of Ms. Peregrine’s home and it felt very magical. And that’s pretty much it…

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Now the bad. First of all, the screenplay. The dialogue was sooooo boring and part of that was because the whole movie was basically Jake reacting to this new world. Someone says something new of world, react, repeat. Now this might have been enjoyable if the reaction was actually entertaining but no, Jake’s reaction to everything is basically ok, that’s neat and that’s it. THAT’S IT?? You’re meeting people with special powers and that’s how you react?? On top of that, the dialogue was cringeworthy and cheesy and the execution was just eyeroll worthy. I freaking loved Asa Butterfield in Ender’s Game and other movies but what happened to him in this one?? He was so stilted. This kind of leads to my next gripe which are the characters. As mentioned, they were given bad dialogue but they were also not really given a personality and the ones that did like Milliard, the twins and Claire were not really even given a lot of screen time. Who is Emma?? Oh that’s easy..uhmmm a girl who blows air and is the love interest and that’s it. The other children would not have been so forgettable if it hadn’t been the fact that they were just there to provide a shock factor. Like here are some kids with powers, isn’t that cool? Not a single one of them was memorable beyond their powers. Their powers weren’t even used in creative ways. And that includes the villain. He was evil for evil’s sake which is fine but I never felt that he was any threat whatsoever to these kids. There was one point where he is being thrown against the wall by Emma’s air power and he just stays there for at least 15 minutes of the movie threatening her and that’s it..Hell even Jake’s grandfather who is suppose to be his motivation for the entire thing didn’t really even feel believable.

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It could have made a great movie if there was even an inkling of warmth and richness to this world. This movie was passable because it went through the basic motions of a typical fantasy adventure featuring an underdog protagonist. As a book to movie adaptation, I think it took a lot of what made Ms. Peregrine’s world unique and simplified it too much for it to be original.

me-before-you

I still don’t quite understand why I gave this book a 4 stars on goodreads. I mean it was cute and I had a good time for the most part but it’s definitely a 3 stars at best. So I came into the movie expecting the same which I got. I think I liked the book and the movie equally. It was a very faithful adaptation. And you couldn’t have asked for better actors to play Will and Louisa. I mean Sam Clafin just flawlessly transitions a face of entitlement and arrogance to one of sadness and bitterness without seeming like a 360 degree turn. Emilia has just the right balance of bubbliness but persistence. The movie cut out a lot of elements that didn’t focus directly on the romance. I felt like the issue of the quadriplegia and everything related to Louisa as a character was sidelined bc #romance which in some ways is understandable because this movie is marketed as a romance movie but in others just hurts the topics that should have been discussed more like his quadriplegia. In regards to Louisa’s backstory that was revealed at the end of the book, I thought it was already contrived in the book so I didn’t really mind that it wasn’t included in the movie.

And tell me if this is just me but sometimes when I saw Louisa and Will in the same scene, Louisa comes off as like a child and Will seems much older so it makes me kind of uncomfortable. In some scenes, Louisa looks like Will’s niece. I know they didn’t purposefully infantilize Louisa but it just comes across that way. Maybe I’m just being an overanalytical bitch, who knows. But I’m kind of sick of females in romances being written with traits that correspond to children such as innocence etc. It feels weird. Anyways I did like the romance for what it was. The cinematography was a lot better than what I expected from a romantic comedy and really elevated it from the average romantic comedy. I would also like to address the whole debacle with Me Before You being ableist. And to me, it’s not. The reason is because Will is a specific character and the author constantly specifies that he was a very athletic person but you also have to remember that he was a very entitled, king-of-the-world type of person before the accident. Some people are different. They can live with and find joy in whatever their condition but  Will isn’t like that. He’s a bitter person and some people are also like that. Will’s experience is not a complete encompassment of what every quadriplegic’s life looks like and shouldn’t be treated it as such. To me, Will doesn’t want to commit suicide because of his condition but because he hasn’t and doesn’t want to find a way to live with it. The ending might be emotionally manipulative, it seems like a way just to get people to cry now that I think about it but that’s my opinion. Either way, this movie was enjoyable for what is. I really wasn’t expecting anything more.

Let me know what you thought of these movies or my thoughts on these movies or if you liked the book over the movie or vice versa. I’m really excited for my next mini movie review batch because I’m going to be reviewing 3 foreign language films that I really liked. So stay tuned for that!

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Book to Movie Review · Uncategorized

Book to Movie Review/Discussion: Mockingjay Part 2

Mockingjay Part 2

Based on: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Director: Francis Lawrence

Screenplay by: Peter Craig, Danny Strong

Producers: Nina Jacobson, John Kilik

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore

SPOILERS BELOW


I probably won’t be the first to tell you that I thought Mockingjay Part 1 was definitely a step down from the perfection that was Catching Fire. I guess I have to forgive it somewhat, the source material is not a fan favorite including for me–my biggest problem with the book being such a jarring tonal shift from Book 1 and 2 as to almost feel like part of an entirely different series. I went in and watched Mockingjay Part 2 with low expectations considering all the mixed reviews but surprisingly I liked it a lot. In fact, I think I liked it more than the book.

There is way, way too much to discuss in one single post so I’m just going to touch on the points that stood out the most to me.

First of all, let’s talk about Peeta and Katniss. If you’ve read my Winner’s kiss review, you’ll know that I’ve come to loathe the amnesiac plotline for many reasons, emotional cop out, contrived, yada, yada, yada. And I wasn’t a fan of the device for Peeta either. But after looking back on it more than 4 years after reading it, I think it has grown on me. And the Peeta and Katniss dynamic in this movie was mostly well done thanks in part to the improved screenplay and of course, the always top notch performances. One of my favorite scenes was when Haymitch comes up to Katniss and Katniss was already ready to give up on Peeta but Haymitch says that no, it doesn’t matter what you want, it’s for Peeta. It kind of speaks volumes about who Katniss and Peeta are as characters. Katniss is someone who does not show pity and if you are the weak link, then screw you. But Peeta has always been the one to not leave anyone behind and in the book as Haymitch so accurately says, that if it were reversed and Katniss was the one injected with tracker jacker venom that Peeta would never for a moment think about leaving or killing Katniss. I think Josh Hutcherson did a great job showing Peeta’s conviction that these new twisted hallucinations were entirely real but that gradual shift to confusion once he’s learned that the events weren’t real was also really well acted.

Ok but honestly, it just hurts that it’s happening to Peeta, literally the sweetest fictional character in the history of fictional characters..but I guess I can see why Collins did it..I guess

I love the tension between the rebels at the beginning of the movie when Katniss is about to give a speech and chaos just erupts with rebels killing each other and Katniss says, “we are slaves to Snow” and the rebel says “I’m not a slave”and Katniss says “I am”. Chills, man, chills. But Katniss also says to him, “why are you killing rebels, your neighbors, your family” which is so powerful because we think Snow is evil because you

know, he kills people but here the rebels are killing other people too. Snow is operating on his own morality (I will kill children but I don’t do it without purpose) but then so are the rebels because these rebels and even Coin thinks that he/she knows what is best for Panem but when is that boundary crossed.

With everything else going on in this movie, I‘m pleasantly surprised they paid so much attention to how the impact of media propaganda but I’m really glad they did because it’s just so relevant today. It was so chilling when Caesar Flickerman, who once seemingly had only the best words for Katniss, is now speaking for the Capitol, saying things like “Katniss and her foolish rebels” or “the girl who was so violent now meets a violent end”. It’s just so scary because if you think about it, Caesar Flickerman can easily play two sides because you don’t actually find out what he stands for throughout the entire series. But he says things with such conviction and charisma that everything out of his mouth seems believable.

And ahh, the deaths. How do I put my thoughts together on that. It’s such a polarizing topic especially considering who dies (esp. Finnick and Prim). But, oh god, was Finnick’s death so heartwrenching because he was literally the one left behind and the mutts just consume him. Ugh, it hurts but I’m ok with it..

For me personally, I’m of the firm belief that a death in a book should be, for the most part, symbolic. It should mean something. For example, Mufasa’s and Bambi’s mother’s death, the loss of innocence. Boromir’s death, showing the power of the Ring. So even after the movie I still don’t know exactly to what purpose Finnick’s and Prim’s deaths serve. If anything, these deaths were such a bold choice on Collins’ parts precisely because it does not serve a clear purpose. I mean this entire series was catalyzed because Katniss volunteered for Prim and then she ended up..dead. No matter how main of a character or how important you are, war does not discriminate and it just kills whoever is in the way. But, at the same time, it seems like such a complete waste of a character. Like fattening up a pig only to eventually slaughter it. So, in conclusion, I’m still confused. I do really like the scene where Snow is about to be executed but instead Katniss kills Coin and Snow is killed by the people. How fitting.

And finally, the epilogue. I’m not sure why I’m not entirely satisfied with the epilogue. The editing makes it seem like the beginning of a horror movie which I guess is kind of the point because it’s a very haunting scene but still..

Sidenotes:

  • Katniss’s battle armor is always so bada, video game developers take note: the outfit is formfitting BUT FUNCTIONAL IN BATTLE.
  • Speaking of badass, that word is stamped all over Cressida played by Natalie Dormer. She just commands every scene she’s in even if she just said one word.
  • Another badass is Johanna. She is so harsh but so funny.
  • omigosh the mutts looked so scary..but that action scene was so thrilling. A+
  • Gale is actually not that annoying in the movie which is surprising because I wanted to kill him in the book.

So in ranking, I think Mockingjay Part 2 is my third favorite. almost being on part with the Hunger Games for second place. Obviously Mockingjay Part 1 is my least favorite and Catching Fire is my favorite by leagues.

What are your thoughts on Mockingjay Part 2? What’s your ranking of the movies?

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Book to Movie Review · Recommendations · Uncategorized

What I’ve Been Watching: April/May

Buckle your seatbelts and grab a snack, this is going to be a long post. So after my Descendants of the Sun watch, I’m kind of on a Korean drama binge watch phase. It’s already starting to wear off because I just DNF’d a lot of them but still..Anyways, I loved most of what I watched these past two months. Being an organization crazed person and knowing that you probably don’t want to read through this entire list, I have assembled a list of the things I watched in order by type. They’re in order so just scroll down respectively to see my thoughts on them. BUT the two shows at the bottom of the list are the ones I would recommend the most out of all the things I’ve watched. Enjoy! =)

Sidenote: All summaries are from Wikipedia.

Movies

  • Zootopia
  • Room
  • Captain America: The First Avenger

TV Shows

  • Friends
  • Futurama

Youtube

  • Jenn from Clothesencounters

Korean Dramas

  • Reply 1988
  • Signal
  • Descendants of the Sun

Movies

Zootopia

Sigh, this movie just makes me so happy, one of the better Disney movies of late because it strikes a near perfect balance of lovable characters, hilarious moments, action scenes, and an engaging, relatable story. Sometimes it’s a little too on-the-nose with the parallels to our society which makes me feel like these messages of anti-prejudice were being shoved down my throat. A little subtlety would have been appreciated although this is me speaking as a person who analyzes things all the dang time. I’m sure kids will love it.

Room

What It’s About: Held captive for seven years in an enclosed space, a woman (Larson) and her 5-year-old son (Tremblay) finally gain their freedom, allowing the boy to experience the outside world for the first time.

The movie is actually better than the book. Granted, I forgot a lot of what happened in the book but I believe the movie delved a lot more into the aftermath of being in Room rather than being in Room which I thought was fascinating because half the battle was actually escaping but I came to realize that they’ll never really escape it; it will always be with them. A well-deserved Academy Award for Best Actress for Brie Larson. 

Captain America: The First Avenger

I think I know what the writers of Captain America were thinking when they were writing the script for this movie…

“Hey Jerry, um, people are really liking superhero movies right now, let’s just copy the basic formula. People will eat it up.”

“Ok, Dave, that’s sounds like an easy route to millions. Ok, um, an underdog that’s a white guy, oh and um a badass girl who’s in the army too!!

“Oh cool, what’s her story?

“What story? She just needs to shoot a gun like twice so feminists will not be angry with us and be the love interest.”

“Ok, sure, sounds good, ok, um, a bad guy!”

“Yeah, sure, a bad guy, write that down. He says muahahaha.. And oh, throw in some action scenes!!”

“Let’s do one where he jumps—

“Jerry, who cares about originality, just have the bad guys shoot at him while he’s riding a motorcycle!!”

“Ok, done with the script”

Christ. I seriously hope Winter’s Soldier is better than this.

TV Shows

Friends

I finished all ten seasons of Friends for the first time!!! Honestly it was easy because Netflix has that thing where it just automatically goes to the next episode for you..You know how binge watching works don’t you Netflix..Ah, I grew so attached to these characters and it’s so rare that a TV show doesn’t dip in quality through 10 seasons. Not sure how I feel about the ending with the whole Ross/Rachel thing mostly because they’re my least favorite characters lol but anyway..

Sidenotes: OH. MY. GOD. IS JANICE FOLLOWING THEM EVERYWHERE LOL

-Best romance award goes to Joey and Chandler.

-The whole Monica/Chandler side plot especially in later seasons was so adorable and surprisingly really emotional.

 

Futurama

What It’s About: The series follows the adventures of a late-20th-century New York City pizza delivery boy, Philip J. Fry, who, after being unwittingly cryogenically frozen for one thousand years, finds employment at Planet Express, an interplanetary delivery company in the retro-futuristic 31st century.

Currently on: Season 3

Finally I know where all these old popular memes are coming from lol. But surprisingly this show is so sweet. I thought it would just have really crass humor similar to like South Park, Family Guy and it does have that but it balances out so well with its sweet undertone. It’s also really clever and a really funny parody and satire. 

Youtube

Clothesencounters

I’ve only recently subscribed to Jenn but she’s already one of my favorite beauty channels. I think she puts in so much work to her videos because the details are so unique from the typography to the editing and camera movements to the placement of products. I also love her chic/edgy fashion style although I wouldn’t look good in like half the things she wears.

Korean Dramas

Reply 1988

What It’s About: It is a family drama set in the year 1988, about five families living in the same neighborhood of Ssangmun-dong, Dobong District, NorthernSeoul.

After DotS, I wanted to watch the majority of the dramas nominated in the 52nd Paeksang Arts Awards which I’ve heard is like the Golden Globes. Honestly, this just made me want to watch Reply 1997 again (my favorite kdrama of all time) and not in a good way. To be quite honest, I don’t know why I stopped after 5 episodes especially since the first episode made me cry and it’s actually written very well. I did really like the emphasis on the family dynamics and community but I guess the main characters weren’t compelling enough? Or maybe I’m just not in the mood for a family drama. I think I might come back to this one.

Sidenote: I think this show is basically 90% everyone yelling at each other. Like honestly, everyone needs to chill.

Signal

What It’s about: A mysterious walkie talkie allows a detective in 1989 to communicate with a cold case profiler from 2015; with the power of fore and hindsight the two not only solve crimes but prevent them from ever taking place. However a long standing murder case is closer to home than either realizes.

Signal is another nominee in the Paeksang Awards but I was wary because I loathe procedural cop shows. Signal is a procedural cop show. But I loved it. I suppose it’s more of the fact that it resembles BBC Sherlock a lot more than say Criminal Minds in that it focuses more on the intricacies of the puzzle than who actually did it. This drama is a prime example of what a well-written, tight, and suspenseful plot can do for a story. Usually cop shows go from a suspenseful scene to a calm one in order to develop the characters but Signal seamlessly weaves in the suspense and the calm so that it feels like your heart is being constantly squeezed throughout the entire episode. A lot of cop shows also rely on sensationalized murders to amp up the dramatic like “hey that guy killed 25 women and always kills them by the neck on Saturdays at 5pm” or something like that. As horrible as that is, it gets boring because it’s just episode after episode of these. But I love that Signal takes the time to get us to know the murderer and it is handled with such delicacy. And that makes all the difference. Because the plot is not just used to move the story along, it’s used to reveal what our characters’ motivations and deepest fears are. So that means very few aspects of the plot feel without purpose. It was fascinating to see our main characters, idealistic cops who believe in the power of justice face police corruption and frustrating bureaucracy. It’s honestly too bad that the last two episodes basically serve as a plea for a second season. It’s also too bad that they completely butcher the only main female character’s arc. *Rolls eyes* But the show’s amazing cinematography, melancholy color tones, and award-winning performances combined with all the good parts I mentioned above make this show a must-watch.Also, this is the first kdrama I’ve watched that has no romance whatsoever and it was kind of awesome actually.

Sidenotes: Omurice is a significant dish in the show and it looked so good so I made it and it turned out to be surprisingly good considering my cooking..

-The main character, Park-Hae Young who is played by Lee Je-Hoon is actually too cute for words. Like his low-key cuteness just kind of sneaks up on you.

Descendants of the Sun

Another opportunity to shove this drama down people’s throats?? Sign me up..I’ve already mentioned this drama in like 4 posts so if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s my reviewAlso if anyone can buy me that poster, I don’t care if you’ve killed puppies, you’ll be my favorite forever and ever. Jk. Kind of.

I’m seriously ashamed to say that I haven’t caught up with Orphan Black since the 2nd episode of the new season. Woops..I promise I’ll catch up in June but yeah that’s probably what I’m going to be watching next. What have you been watching lately? Any recommendations? I’d love to know =)

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Book to Movie Review

Book to Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Director: Joe Wright

Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster

Screenplay: Deborah Moggach

Starring: Keira Knightley, Matthew McFayden, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, Tom Hollander, Rosamund Pike

Rating: 4/5

Welcome to my first book to movie review on this blog! I’ve actually done several before back on my Tumblr that I moved to here so feel free to check them out if you would like.

So, about a week ago, I read Shades of Milk and Honey which is basically Pride and Prejudice but with magic and everytime I read a Jane Austen adaptation, it gives me the urge to rewatch something Pride and Prejudice related. This is actually my second time watching this movie and I actually feel like I liked it more this time around for some reason.

As a movie

Gosh, there is so much to like in this movie. For one, the feel and atmosphere of the movie. The cinematography is so stunning. I especially loved the shot when Elizabeth is on the tire swing and she starts swinging around and the camera is as if you were on the swing and seeing what she’s seeing. I love all the side shots giving you a glimpse of the interiors of all the buildings and you really get to see what Lizzie is seeing when she first enters the room. The warm color palette gives the movie such a vibrant but homely feel along with the soothing piano score.

^She plays the same piano music that is prevalent at the beginning of the movie and according to the director commentary, it signifies that coming to your lover should feel like coming home and that kind of makes my heart swoon even more.

In terms of the acting, I love Keira Knightley as Lizzie Bennet. I feel like she was born for these types of historical roles. It’s funny though because apparently the director almost didn’t choose her because she was too pretty…And of course, Matthew McFayden as Mr. Darcy is just absolute perfection. I didn’t even realize he was my Mr. Darcy until I saw him as Darcy. I just feel like he embodies everything Darcy is. He’s socially awkward in a time and place when being socially awkward is kind of a death wish and he does arrogance and stoicism very well so that the only instance he laughs, you kind of feel your heart swoon. I think both Keira and Matthew have amazing chemistry together as well and their banter plays off each other so naturally.

The other actors are also great especially the Bennet family and that really helped sell the chemistry of the Bennett family to me. And of course, the relationships between the sisters was portrayed well too.

I love how the movie was true to the mannerisms of the time period but also kept it contemporary for modern audiences and I don’t find myself wondering what so-and-so said which I really liked.

As a book to movie:

I do admit this movie is kind of a representation of what mainstream media thinks P&P is. A love story. I do feel sometimes the movie forsakes the other things that Jane Austen is important for like the social commentary and the witty irony. You can take it as a good or bad thing because on the one hand the relationship between Lizzie and Darcy was so wonderfully developed but then the other aspects of the plot were lacking. But I think that the movie kept just enough of plot elements and essence of the novel that had me satisfied. And what’s important to me is that the character’s essences were captured which it was (although I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice for at least 3 years now).

I’m planning on doing a review of more of the Pride and Prejudice adaptations including the 1995 bbc miniseries and the youtube webseries The Lizzie Bennet diaries so tuned for those!

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