Hello world! I have returned from the world of the sick, where I have been living in my bed for the past few weeks.
Ever feel like everything just comes together to form the perfect storm? That is what the last few weeks have been like for me. I got stressed, got sick, got antibiotics, felt better. Got off antibiotics, got worse. Had to write a bunch of papers in my feverish state. Got a secondary infection, got more sick. Finally got to the doctor and got new antibiotics, but then got an infection from being on antibiotics. And finally, got treated for that infection, and am finally feeling better! Yay! Oh, also during this time, I had to deal with midterms- it was SO MUCH FUN.
So, that is why I have been MIA for the past few weeks. . .
But, because of my enduring illness, I have been watching a whole lot of movies lately, which is why today I will be bringing you a double-feature extravaganza!
First up: Hysteria
In theaters, or dvd: This one is already on dvd, and probably available at your local redbox
Setting: London, 1880
Why it is great: It’s about the invention of the vibrator, and has an awesome feminist in the form of Maggie Gyllenhaal!
Yes, you read that right, this movie is about the invention of the one, the only, the vibrator. And, you know what else? I watched this movie with my mom, and it was great! Now, I do not advise all viewers to watch this movie with your mom-there are many an awkward moment, but the movie itself is hysterical, and my mom and I laughed soooo much. However, if you and your mom do not share the kind of relationship in which you two could watch such material, better just to watch this with your girl friends 😉
In addition to being suuper funny, this movie was quite eye-opening in terms of historical medicine. “Hysteria” was a catch all diagnosis for “nervous conditions” afflicting women in the stuffy victorian age, and was similar to an insanity defense in court. Additionally, can you say germ theory? Germs don’t exist guys, that’s just silly talk!
This movie is clearly not for everybody, but it is really funny if you aren’t uncomfortable with the topic, and it was a pretty interesting historical story as well.
Next up: Pitch Perfect
In theaters, or dvd: In da Theatre
Setting: Random college campus, possibly in North Carolina?
Why it is great: Acapella, hysterical, Fat Amy, Breakfast Club, one of the most quotable movies I have ever seen!
This movie has pretty much everything I could ever want out of a college movie: Adorably geeky love interest, lots of musical numbers (which are soooooo gooood), a very diverse group of girls, and nearly every line in the movie is goldenly quotable.
If you have not seen this movie, GO SEE IT. NOW. This movie was just soooo good. Also, can I just say that any movie that brings up the Breakfast Club has my love (Easy A, anyone?). The main character is a bit too spiky in personality for me, but her sarcasm is priceless, so I forgive her. Fat Amy is debatably the best character in the movie, and has by far the best one-liners, about every 10 minutes in the movie, and if for no other reason, you should see this movie just to see what will come out of that girl’s mouth next. Also, the acapella competition commentators are wonderfully inappropriate.
I cannot stress enough how much everyone should see this movie!!! And if that couldn’t convince you,
Last Friday, the first day Brave hit theaters, I was there, with my best friend in tow. We had both been really excited to see the movie, despite our age (but, really, who outgrows Disney?), and the fact that we were bound to be surrounded by 5-7 year old girls (and we were).
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Brave, the story of Merida, a Scottish princess who is stubborn, headstrong, and a skilled archer who loves riding her horse through the countryside, shooting arrows at targets hanging from the trees, is facing her arranged marriage to a Clan member, determined by athletic games. Merida wants to “Change her fate,” and, by the end, she does.
I was not only excited for Brave because the heroine, Merida, is by far the most feminist of the Disney Princesses thus far, but I was also intrigued with the setting (Medieval-ish Scotland) and the fact that this was not just a retelling of an already existing fairytale.
I HATE to say it, but Brave was not nearly as good as I had expected. In terms of the visuals, it was amazing. I want her hair. Seriously. It was fun to watch for the detailed visuals, but I found the story to. . . fall a bit flat, for Pixar, at least.
While I liked the set up of the story, the actual bulk of the film seemed to be rushed in Merida’s attempt to get to the resolution of the film. Additionally, one of the things I love about some of the more recent Disney Pixar films is the witty dialogue that appeals to the older audience of the movie (The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3) and many others. However, Brave was sorely lacking in the dialogue department. There were some funny moments, dialogue-wise, but for the most part, the plot just didn’t allow for that kind of dialogue.
Also, I realize that this is a children’s movie, but the approach taken in Brave was just too plainly moralistic. The maturity that Disney and Pixar have been able to achieve in many of their other films just wasn’t there in this one. The arranged marriage aspect of the film is glossed over, and not taken seriously at all. Merida is presented as selfish and immature for fighting her mother on her marriage to whatever Clan member wins her hand in the “games.”
So, that said, here is what I liked:
Kudos to Pixar for Merida’s three younger brothers. I loved them. It wasn’t until the end that I realized that none of the little boys (maybe two, three years old?) had said anything, for the whole movie, yet they added so much humor and also helped Merida forward the plot. Their expressions, mannerisms and general shenanigans were much more valuable than some of the actual spoken dialogue. Those boys were one of my favorite parts of the film.
I also liked that Merida comes up with a solution to the matter of her marriage that is not only a politically responsible compromise, but that shows a maturity and depth that the rest of the movie lacks. I really liked the fact that Merida was able to assert herself in a way that didn’t end in violence or (possible spoiler) in marriage, and was able to write her own destiny.
All in all, while I think it could have been better, there were still parts that I liked. For it’s target audience, i.e. kids under ten, I think it’s good, for us older folks, not so much. While still worth seeing, I am pinning my hopes for a really great heroine and female lead on a future Disney/ Pixar collaboration.
So guys. Have you heard of One Direction yet? It seems nearly impossible since their hit song, “What Makes You Beautiful” plays every time I turn on the radio. The song, catchy and fast-paced played at nearly every event in the last two months while I was at school, and now seems to have become a summer anthem.
Much as I love singing the song at the top of my lungs with my friends while we dance around our dorm room, I saw something the other day that had taken it a little too far. I believe it was on the Today show (though it might have been some other morning show. . . can’t be sure, hadn’t had coffee yet), that I saw an interview with the pop-y boy band, complete with carefully coiffed hair (on the part of the boys) and a live audience of screaming 12-13 year old girls in the background, in a frenzied, adolescent hysteria.
Now, this in itself was not that surprising. It’s like a boy band of Justin Bieber- what young girl could possibly resist that. What shocked me about the interview was the comparison made between One Direction, and The Beatles. The Beatles?!?! Really? For me, One Direction is a lot more like the N’Sync or Backstreet Boys of the 20teens, but not, at all, the second coming of The Beatles. Granted, both bands were made up of young men, and both bands are British, touring in the US to the sounds of screaming young girls, but is that really enough to begin to compare the two?
Personally, I think not so much. Does this mean I will stop singing along to “What Makes you Beautiful”? Of course not! The song is still a very catchy, pop-y song, enjoying it’s fifteen minutes, and I intend to enjoy it too (along with “Call Me Maybe”- both of which were the ridiculously popular songs at my college this spring).
So, decide for yourself: Is One Direction The Beatles, or N’Sync?
I decided to devote this, my second post ever, to the subject of guilty pleasures in honor of the summer premiere of the abc family show Pretty Little Liars. I entirely blame my roommate from last year for getting me hooked on this show!
For those of you who do not indulge in ridiculous high drama teenage tv shows, Pretty Little Liars is about four girls whose friend, Allison, was missing for a year before her body was found. After the police discover Alli’s body, the girls receive creepy texts and other freaky messages and threats from someone called “A.” In last season’s finale we learned “A” was another friend of the girls -Mona. That’s it, show’s over, one would think. Ha! No it is not over because “A” is not one person but a group of people!
This show, although ridiculous, is also alarmingly addicting. If memory serves, I believe that in last season’s finale they actually had a hashtag at the bottom of the screen declaring “ezriagoespublic” referring to two characters, Aria and Ezra,who had been secretly dating due to the fact that he was her teacher and she was like 16. See what I mean? Guilty pleasure all the way. Why I spend an hour each week of my life to watch the drama go down, I can’t quite put my finger on. . . However, since I am *trying* to be at least a little bit healthy this summer, I decided I would turn my guilty pleasure tv show into a positive, healthy hour.
My plan is to model this on the “Harry Potter Workout.” If you do not know what this is, google it! Now! The concept is actually a bit like a drinking game, except with different workout activities rather than an alcoholic beverage. Ok, so having familiarized yourself with the Harry Potter version, Behold! I give you the Pretty Little Liars Workout:
Everytime. . .
Someone receives a text from “A”——————-10 jumping jacks
Anyone mentions a secret, lie, or the act of lying——— 15 crunches
*Serious* looks are exchanged——————- 10 lunges
A look of shock!———————————- 10 crunches
One of the girls shares a “moment” with her guy——– 5 push-ups
“A” is said aloud—————————————— 10 squats
A male character takes his shirt off——————– 10 bicycles
This is from my first brainstorm, and I very well might add to this list after watching tonight’s episode. So what I’m thinking, is if I do this workout while I watch the show, the ice cream I plan to eat during commercials gets canceled out, right? : )
For all my fellow “A” followers, I challenge you to the Pretty Little Liars Workout! For those of you who have other guilty pleasure tv shows (Jersey Shore perhaps?) I challenge you to come up with your own show/ movie themed workout!