5 Reasons Why Moana is Going to be Absolutely Incredible (And Super Important!)
If you love Disney, I’m sure you’ve heard about Disney’s upcoming movie, Moana. Moana is premiering at Thanksgiving, and it will introduce us to the newest Disney princess. This film is going to be incredible, and here’s why!
1. Moana will feature Disney’s first ever Polynesian princess.
Moana is our first island princess, and she is BEAUTIFUL! Look at her beautifully tanned skin and curly hair!! I love her already. Disney has not animated any islanders since Lilo and Stitch, so getting a Polynesian princess is so great and so important. (Representation is important!!)
*1.5.And, from what we’ve seen, Moana is going to be totally kick-butt! Gotta love an adventurous princess who is good with a spear.
2. Not only will Moana feature a Polynesian princess; it will feature her adorable pet pig!
Moana will have an cute and loveable pet pig named Pua! (pronounced Poo-ah) It’s head and ears are GIANT. How can you not love this thing?! I know I’m gonna buy a plushie of this thing the second they appear in stores.
3. The scenery will make you *swoon*
Being set on an island, the scenery and imagery in this film is bound to be phenomenal. These clips alone are gorgeous enough for their own films, so I can’t wait to see what other beauties Moana’s home island of Oceania has in store!
4. Moana will feature Disney’s first ever demi-god!
While Disney introduced to many Gods and Goddesses in Hercules, we never got to see any true demi-gods. (While Hercules himself seemed like a demi-god, he still had two gods for parents, so I don’t count him as a “true” demi-god.) Well, look no further than Maui! Maui is a demi-god who will be adventuring with Moana in her film. So far, we know that he is super strong and he can shape-shift. Oh, and he has a magical hook that he can do just about anything with.
Not too shabby, am I right?
5. The songs will be INCREDIBLE, thanks to the wonderful people working behind them.
Moana will feature the collaborative works of Mark Mancina, Opetaia Foa’I, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Mark Mancina is very experienced when it comes to writing for Disney, and has worked on songs for many Disney films, including Tarzan, Brother Bear, and the great classic, The Lion King. Lin-Manuel Miranda is an incredible composer and lyricist who wrote the hit musical “In the Heights”, and also a little something that is currently blowing up Broadway called “Hamilton”. So basically, this movie is guaranteed to have a wonderful score.
Moana is bound to be absolutely breath-taking! This film will encourage girls everywhere to be fearless, and probably make us all cry in the meantime. Are you all as excited as I am?! Be sure to see Moana when it hits theaters in November! (◠‿◠✿)
I saw eight films at my first Sundance Festival: THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, BROOKLYN, IT FOLLOWS, SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE, THE BRONZE, MISSISSIPPI GRIND, RESULTS, and KNOCK KNOCK.
A sexually precocious teenage girl in 1970s California, soundtracked by Heart and Television - there’s no way I was going to dislike this movie. THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL is a messy, uncompromising look at the warts-and-all sexual awakening of 15-year old Minnie Goetz in 1976 San Francisco. Bel Powley is about to blow up following this film’s release, and with good reason: she’s incredibly believable as Goetz, full of needy lust - sexual, chemical, creative, and otherwise - personified. Kristen Wiig (as Minnie’s freewheeling, jealous mother) and Alexander Skarsgard (as her mother’s boyfriend and Minnie’s consistent lover) deliver strong supporting turns, especially Skarsgard who conveys the overwhelming desperation of a hunky dude moving towards middle-age who’s fallen pathetically in love with a fifteen-year old. While animation sequences don’t always quite work (but really, how much can you be bothered by animation that gives a shout-out to Aline Kominsky-Crumb?), this is a major debut for writer-director Marielle Heller, who allows Diary to transcend the usual trappings of the “young girl sleeps with older guy as a part of her sexual awakening” narrative by never judging or punishing Minnie for a second, even when her behavior veers into the dangerous. This will be an important film for teenage girls for years to come.
BROOKLYN was my biggest surprise of the festival, and on its face, seems like something we’ve seen a thousand times before. Saoirse Ronan plays Eilis, an Irish immigrant struggling to survive her first year in Brooklyn after leaving rural Ireland. Director John Crowley and screenwriter Nick Hornby (adapting a popular novel I’d never heard of) never let Brooklyn slide into treacle, and instead focus on Eilis’ small victories in America and nagging doubt about leaving her widowed mother and spinster sister back in Ireland. It’s been sometime since I’ve seen a movie I’d call legitimately sweet, something I could show my grandma, but Eilis’ romance with a shy Italian plumber, Tony (Emory Cohen, previously seen in The Place Beyond the Pines as B. Coop’s grown, asshole son) is damn near impossible not to root for. Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent are always a welcome presence, and their small parts here give the film some of its funniest and most touching moments, respectively. Domhnall Gleeson, as one of Eilis’ potential suitors, is perhaps a bit underused here, but that’s my only real gripe with the movie.
IT FOLLOWS may be Cronenberg-y in premise, but the directing feels much closer to Halloween by way of Gia Coppola. Between The Guest and this film, Maika Monroe has established herself as the best new scream queen we’ve had in years. Here she plays Jay, a high schooler who contracts an STD after sleeping with a new boyfriend that causes unrelenting figures - a grandma, a giant, a syphilitic woman - to follow her everywhere she goes, every day. Writer-director Robert David Mitchell figures out how to tease maximum suspense from these followers, who never stop walking towards Jay, intent on raping and murdering her, with simple tricks of filling the frame and precipitating the horror with a deliciously spooky score by Disasterpeace. Mitchell does some really fun stuff in terms of playing with time period - Jay warns a crush of his impending doom on a house phone, but one of her friends reads The Idiot on a tiny handeld device shaped like a seashell. It Follows leaves a lot unexplained, and it mostly works, at least to the extent that I’m still wondering about the film, even if I still have questions about the mechanics of the mythology.
Writer-director Leslye Headland self-described SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE as “When Harry Met Sally for assholes,” so clearly I liked it a lot better than that precursor film. Jake (Jason Sudekis) and Lainey (Alison Brie) meet again in a sex addicts meeting after losing their virginities to each other in college. They strike up an intense friendship after agreeing that sex would ruin their rediscovered bond, and their non-romance throughout the film provides us with one of the most believable, sexually tense onscreen pairings in recent memory. Sudekis is the real surprise here, giving Jake’s horndog ways and total devotion to Lainey an earnestness that’s unexpected. Brie is great as always, and Headland doesn’t shy away from showing the dark side of Lainey’s pathological hook-ups with a married ex-conquest, a mustachioed Adam Scott, in supreme douche mode. The movie could stand to lose ten minutes (which was true of nearly everything I saw at Sundance) and honestly, would’ve worked a little better for me if it chose to end on the bittersweet note the film seemed to have been building to, but it’s as funny and sweet of a rom-com as we’ve had in some time.
Opinion was sharply divided on THE BRONZE, but I found the “Bad Gymnast” riff to be quite funny throughout. Melissa Rauch (who co-wrote and produced with her husband) plays Hope Ann Greggory, a former Olympic bronze medalist who is still glorified in her small Ohio town after a Kerri Strug-esque win at the Olympics. Now though, Hope spends most of her days snorting Claritin (a plot point that’s conveniently neglected after the first act), masturbating to her victory footage, and stomping around Amherst, Ohio in her Olympic sweats like she owns the place, because she sort of still does. Her long-suffering father (Gary Cole) pushes Hope to coach a young gymnastics upstart in town after Hope’s former coach commits suicide, and promises Hope $500,00 to coach the young hopeful to the Olympics. The plotting of the film certainly isn’t revolutionary in terms of its reluctant old dog/perky new dog narrative, but Rauch inhabits Hope Ann with believable venom. Thomas Middleditch (as the twitchy owner of Hope’s former gymnastics studio) and Sebastian Stan (as a delightfully smarmy national gymnastics coach) create a second-act love triangle for Hope that gives us the long-promised payoff of “gymnast sex” teased throughout the film. I’m also pro any Ohio movie (somebody in the production HAD to have grown-up there) even if the film goes on too long and ends too tidily with a montage that Drop Dead Gorgeous did far better.
MISSISSIPPI GRIND was my most frustrating watch of the whole festival. For the first hour, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s look at lovable losers and degenerate gamblers Ryan Reynolds (a smooth operator whose grey around the temples suggests he’s not quite as spry as he seems) and Ben Mendelsohn (greasy and great in cheap shirts, as always) is a fun ride as we watch the two amble down the Mississippi on the way to a card game in New Orleans with a $25,000 buy-in. But as the film moves towards its close (and conveniently remembers, y’know, these guys play high-stakes poker) Boden and Fleck lose the thread of grimy desperation for their leads, and go for a Hollywood ending that totally undermines the thematic intentions of the film’s first half. Robin Weigert, Alfre Woodard (as an Iowa bookie! I wanna see that movie!), and Sienna Miller are essentially reduced to one-scene roles, which is a damn shame. There were several other, better movies that existed within Grind’s runtime, and I’m so disappointed that Boden and Fleck chose to go for the happy ending instead of staying true to their characters’ more likely trajectories.
I don’t even know what to say about RESULTS, which failed to engage me from minute one. I guess on paper, to someone, somewhere, a personal fitness comedy involving a love triangle between Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, and…Kevin Corrigan sounds like a good idea, but director Andrew Bujalski never makes any of them feel like real people with real struggles. Guy Pearce wants to expand his small gym, and newly rich Corrigan gives him the means to do so, if they can stop fighting over Smulders. I’m sorry, but the suspension of disbelief over a Smulders-Corrigan romance is just too ridiculous, or at least it is as Bujalski portrays it. Results isn’t ever all that funny or romantic, needs a narrative engine, and has no discernable thematic takeaway. All three leads do the best they can with the material (but really, why are we trying to make Cobie Smulders a thing?) but this one is DOA. And there’s a totally wasted “Six Months in a Leaky Boat” song queue I’m still mad about!
Shame on me for thinking Eli Roth could produce something compelling, but I guess I was still dealing with a case of John Wick heart-eyes when I decided to see KNOCK KNOCK at a midnight screening. An inexplicable remake of 1977’s Death Game, Knock Knock finds Roth eschewing most of his usual gratuitous gore, but the film is still plenty icky, especially in terms of its incest fixation. Keanu Reeves stars as Evan, a devoted husband and father (snooooore) who answers the door one rainy night to find two beautiful girls (one of whom is Roth’s twenty-three year old wife) in need of a phone and a taxi (double snoooore). You can guess where things go from there, and honestly, until the tables turn on Evan, the film is enjoyable if slight. But once the women expose their true intentions to Evan, Roth never misses an opportunity to capitalize on the squick factor of two young women fucking an older man in his own home, in his own daughter’s bed. I’m sure Roth has convinced himself the film is somehow feminist in its depiction of all men as helpless to resist nubile jailbait, but he sure as hell doesn’t know how to convey that idea with any kind of deeper takeaway on a familiar theme that’s honestly done a lot better in Hard Candy.
Three of the films I saw were directed by women (one as co-director).
Four of the films I saw were written by women (two as co-writers).
Five of the films I saw featured female protagonists.
17-year-old Cas Stonehouse of Toronto, Canada describes herself on her YouTube channel as “a high school student attempting to do film stuff,” but after you see her films, you’ll realize that she’s already an incredibly talented filmmaker as well as a songwriter/singer: she wrote “Made of You,” heard in this video.
In “Kiss Me,” she writes that she “asked 8 teenaged couples to share a kiss on camera to attempt to capture the essence of teenaged romance.” The result is astounding.
“Kiss Me” is a beautifully deliberate look at the intimacy shared in a kiss, set to the clear, honest, hauntingly bright sound of Cas’ singing. All of the tenderness, all of the affection, all of the exhilaration and fragile possibility of young love are encapsulated in a few minutes of video.
hidden_horizon Today I met the most amazing man! I met Sebastian Stan and it was a dream come true, never in a million year did I ever think I’d get to meet him and see in acting on set! He is so polite and phenomenal! Words cannot describe my thoughts and emotions today! Today has been the best day of my life hands down! I never get to meet famous people or go to comic cons and meet them so today was a huge surprise and dream come true! Especially hearing him trying to pronounce my name and love my country it’s amazing! Thank you so much @imsebastianstan i probably looked my a mumbling mess but you have no idea what today meant to me! I will remember this day until I die! 💕💕☘
he’s filming in bray, Ireland my friends cousin works on set so she brought us in and it was incredible ahh I cant😂😂🎉
He was in between shots so he ran over and stayed for like ten minutes , he was so cute and polite and i kinda lost my cool at started laughing which he join in on and he was talking about Ireland and my phone? Weird i know but he was like “it was lovely talking to you Aoife” and he held my hand doing that and i died👌😂😭😭
Sebastian commenting on a fan’s picture and some notes from set!
So uh guys, it happened again! :D :D And Jenna was there too and they signed my book and they were both incredible and basically I just spent my entire day watching live Doctor Who!! :D They were both wonderful and it was amazing and I am so lucky, Peter Capaldi is so great he kept coming over and the security practically had to drag him away from the fans and he always promised he’d come back and he did, he was there for like an hour after he was done making sure that everyone who wanted to meet him did and Jenna was lovely too and it’s been such an brilliant day I can’t even put into words how great it is! :D I can’t wait for series nine I know it’ll be amazing! :D
If we are getting a flashback to post-jail Emma, I think I’m going to be an emotional wreck.
Every single Emma flashback just kills me, but this one would just be heartbreaking. I know there’s a lot of Emma’s past that we haven’t seen, but this has probably got to be the lowest point of her life. In her mind, her parents abandoned her, the man she loved set her up for no reason she can fathom, and she gave up her son because she didn’t think she could be the mother he deserved. It would be incredibly difficult to find hope and any self-belief through all that heartache.
If this flashback is in the era suggested by the filming photos, the most difficult thing for me is that Emma doesn’t know just how much she will come to mean to people. She has no idea that her parents wanted and loved her and she will be reunited with them, no idea that her son will come looking for her and she will build an amazing mother-son relationship, no idea that she will have friends that will stay by her side, and no idea that she will fall in love with a man willing to move heaven and Earth for her (and vice versa).
Potentially seeing the ‘unwanted lost girl’ at her lowest? If this comes to pass, I think I may die.
The new Star Wars is so important because little girls everywhere are going to look at Rey and know that they can be anything they want to be. Little girls are going to know that science fiction is for them too. Little girls are going to know they can save themselves. Little girls are going to know they can be the hero of their own story. When I was small I loved science fiction and fantasy so much but the girls were always the sidekick or the damsel in distress, not to mention incredibly outnumbered. 99% of the fantasy worlds I fell so in love with focused on the boys and by the chance that there even was a girl who was central to the plot she was often for a love interest. Even looking past Rey, there were so many women in places of power. The most highly revered Stormtrooper captain is a girl. Excellent female pilots in the Resistance. Leia leading the resistance. Maz Kanata. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the film the generation of young girls and boys need and deserves and I can only hope that when I have kids that fiction can live up to it.
Everybody loves the bad-guys! A compelling villain can absolutely make a tv series or film and I think Once Upon a Time has always excelled at presenting interesting, complex villains.
Obviously the Evil Queen has the best wardrobe from the whole show but the other villains also have some excellent outfits. I think Maleficent has an awesome wardrobe - from her 40s suits to her highly structured ‘witch’ outfits and, of course, her Stevie Nicks get-up, she always looks incredible.