Can we talk about Finn for a minute? I keep reading that Finn gets described as “flat” or “boring” by some in the Star Wars fandom. Obviously everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But I’ll tell you, from my perspective? He’s one of the most unique, charismatic Star Wars characters out there.
1. Finn humanized stormtroopers. Made us experience panic and terror at the terrible choices they have to make. Stormtroopers, who were practically a joke in the other movies - white plastic statutes that existed just to get shot and clatter into a pile.
2. Finn’s flight with Poe Dameron is an explosion of emotion. That scene blew me away. Both of them had so much fun with it, and you can see Finn feel the real impact of having a name, rather than being a number.
3. Finn is profoundly empathetic and protective. Hell, I swear he cares about BB8 when he has to describe the plane crash, and Poe’s “death”, to the droid.
4. Finn shows tremendous range in this movie. Traumatized (stormtrooper battle), jocular (”you got a boyfriend?”), joyous (”that’s one hell of a pilot”), wistful (”Take care of yourself. Please.”), angry (ligthsaber battle), I could go on. I like Luke Skywalker as much as the next fan, but I think Finn shows more range in this one film than Luke did in all three.
5. Finn’s story arc is powerful, subversive, and inspiring. Going from a number to a name. Finding a family after being taken from his home as a child. Turning his back on the First Order and then realizing he needs to go further, and embrace the cause of the Resistance.
6. Finn’s relationship with Rey. I’m gonna get choked up about this, so I’ll just say John Boyega is an amazing actor, and I loved every scene he had with Daisy Ridley.
Anyway that’s my fangirling contribution. To me, Finn’s amazing.
Plot Summary: You have to work on a project with a guy you barely know, you thought the assignment would be boring but it turned out to be a lot of fun.
A/n: This one is a little long so I apologise:) Zach Dempsey is just such an amazing character I cant even! I am also open to requests at the moment if theres anything you would like me to write. Just check my masterlist for the list of fandoms :)
“Ugh” you groaned as you and Hannah walked through the
school doors into an already packed hallway.
“Come on the day has just started be at least a little more
positive” said Hannah shaking her head at you as the two of you made a left
towards your form room.
“It’s Monday how could anyone be positive” you said as you
turned the corner.
Bryce came up to you and started talking about the ‘mad’
party he had at the weekend and how you both should have been there. He was
standing in the middle of you and Hannah; Hannah thankfully started talking to
him so you wouldn’t have to deal with him. As you were walking along you caught
the eye of Zach who was about to smile at you but then Bryce threw his arm
around you and pulled you close to him Zach’s eyes flicked from you to Bryce
and then his arm around your shoulders before he looked at Justin motioning for
him to look in your direction as his gaze fell to the floor. Justin turned
towards you and glared at Bryce before turning back to Zach.
Hannah Had finally managed to get Bryce off of the both of
you and quickly dragged you into your form room before he could give either of
you any unwanted affection.
“God he’s such a creep, if he didn’t go around playing the
rich kid card and actually talked nicely to people then maybe people would genuinely
like him” she said flopping down into her chair that was next to yours.
“Um yeah” you said still confused about what had happened in
Hannah leaned a little closer to you.
“Did you see the look on Zach’s face when Bryce threw his
arm around you?” said Hannah with a giant smile. “He is so into you” she said
before Zach and Justin entered the room.
“It was nothing” you said shaking your head as the form
tutor walked in.
Three periods later and you were in biology watching the
teacher ramble on about veins and capillaries or something. You were sat next
to Hannah on one of the middle benches with your back to the window sitting
sideways to the teacher’s desk.
“So you given any more thought to Zach?” asked Hannah in a
hushed whisper wiggling her eyebrows at you.
“Shhh” you said your gaze drifting to Zach who was sat on
the desk in front of the teacher facing towards the window but on the opposite
side of the room.
“Oh come on” she said “he’s glanced at you at least ten times
and we are only twenty minutes into the lesson.”
“Yeah right” you said, looking back over at Zach, your eyes
met then he quickly turned his attention back to the teacher.
“I told you so” said Hannah elbowing you.
You turned your gaze back to her.
“It means nothing has probably just looking out of the
window” you said shaking your head.
“How many more excuses are you going to make” she said
sounding defeated. “Fine he doesn’t like you at all, I guess it’s just a
coincidence that his grades have dropped since you joined the class, and he
only ever ‘looks out the window’ in biology because it makes sense for him to
do that in his favourite subject” she said sounding a little mad before turning
her attention back to the teacher.
For the next thirty minutes you kept glancing back at Zach
but you didn’t catch him looking at you again.
Finally the end of the lesson came and you were more than
willing to leave even if it meant that you got to gym class early when the
teacher decided to drop a bomb shell.
“Right class as the last assignment turned out to be nothing
short of a complete shambles I am going to be putting you all in pairs, the
pairs have already been chosen by me so that everyone’s skills will be properly
utilised. As extra means to make sure that you complete the assignment I will
be giving extra credit to whoever gets an A. But in order to win the prize you
must make sure that both of you worked on the project together I will be able
to tell.” Said the teacher.
The class erupted in a mix of groans and protests.
“Oh god” said Hannah “I hope I get a geek or something I
could really do with the extra credit” she continued biting her lip in
“So a geek like Clay” you asked her eyes grew wide and she
“Ok class settle down” said the teacher holding up a list,
he began reading out the names.
You listened to the names and made faces at Hannah at pairs
that defiantly weren’t going to work out and she did the same to you until, it
came to your turn.
“Y/n will be paired with Zach” said the teacher and your eye
instantly flicked to Zach who was also looking at you.
“Ooh now’s your chance to get to know him a little better”
whispered Hannah, you turned towards her. “Big strong guy like that can teach
you all about human anatomy” she said holding in her laugh.
“Ew do you even know how bad that sounded” you said looking
at her with the best disgusted face you could muster.
“No but seriously, have you even been paying attention or
have you been too busy say dreaming about Zach?” she asked shaking her head.
“What?” you asked confused.
“God you really haven’t have you, look at the title of the
assignment dumbo” she said nodding her head in the direction of the board.
Sure enough there was the title of the assignment in big
bold letters ‘Human Anatomy’
“I genuinely think that I have pissed someone off up in
heaven big time” you said to Hannah in disbelief.
“Or someone up there really wants you two together, imagine
how cute your babies would be” said Hannah with a smile.
“How about you and Clay?” you said knowing exactly how to
shut her up about the subject.
“Ok I get it, but on another note he’s top of the class so
pretty much the best partner that you can have” she finished as you both got up
and walked towards the door.
Finally the day was over, and you could head home. You said
goodbye to Hannah as you and her both lived in different directions, you were
prepared to go home make yourself some popcorn watch a little Netflix and
forget about all the events of today. But heaven defiantly wasn’t on your side.
“Hey Y/n” said Zach walking away from the group of jocks and
stepping in time with you.
“Hey” you said with a smile praying the world would just
swallow you up. No such luck.
“So this assignment, it pretty important that I ace it to
get the grade that I want at the end of the yeah so do you think that we could
start now?” he asked running his hands through his hair.
Say, no say no, you thought to yourself.
“Yeah” you said out loud mentally kicking yourself, what was
wrong with you?
“Ok do you want to come back to my house, I have some books
and Wi-Fi that works unlike the library” he said with a small nervous smile.
“Oh you mean right away, right away” you continued.
Just tell him that you
have plans right now after school hers your opportunity to get out of this
you thought again.
“Yeah ok, that’s fine by me” you said with a smile.
You mentally kicked yourself, why had you agreed, the
prospect of popcorn and cheesy movies was within reach but you blew it all off
to study with Zach.
“Great” he said with a big smile as the both of you began
walking in the direction of his hour.
Twenty minutes later you were walking up the driveway of a
rather large house, you looked at it in awe as you passed Zach’s car on the
driveway. He opened the door and stepped inside motioning for you to follow.
You walk in and the inside of the house matches the outside perfectly with a
number of expensive looking ornaments dotted about the place. You followed Zach
into the kitchen which again was massive.
“Hey do you mind if I go freshen up a little I just had
practice and well” he said motioning to his sports gear that looked a little
“No that’s fine” you said with a smile.
“Um… here the wifi password, you can get started on the
project while you wait if you want” he said scribbling on a sticky note on the
fridge then handing it to you. “See you in a minute” he finished putting his
bag on the chair next to yours before leaving the room.
You quickly typed in the password and no sooner had you
phone picked up the wifi signal a message from Hannah popped up. You unlocked
your phone to answer
Italics = You
Normal = Hannah
So I saw you walking home with Dempsey… ;)
Yep we thought we would start early on the
Oh… should I leave you two to get back to the “Project”
What no! I didn’t mean
it like that. He’s it the shower
So you wanted him to freshen up a little bit then?
No Hannah, he went to
shower by himself and then we are going to start our biology project.
You do realise that he has a giant crush on you right?
Stop it we are just
working on biology project nothing more
I know you and I know him so I am certain that it’s going to
turn into something more ;P
Ugh whatever, I think
I hear him coming down the stairs gtg
Just as you put your phone down Zach came walking into the
room wet hair flopping in his face, a tight t-shit that stretched around his
arms a little showing his muscles. His sweatpants hanging low on his hips he
smiled at you before stepping forward and sitting in the chair next to you.
“So what is our project on then?” he smiled again looking
through the various pieces of paper that you had sprawled about on the kitchen
You couldn’t help but look at him, he was gorgeous, he
looked up at you that’s when you realised that you hadn’t answered his
“Um…errr… I don’t know” you said his gaze making you lost
He didn’t say anything but the two of you began leaning
closer and closer until your lips connected. He was soft at first delicate, apprehensive.
Then as your hands went to his hair tangling though it the kiss grew deeper as
his arms wrapped around your waist pulling you closer towards him.
He pulled away from you his face just inches from yours, he didn’t
need to speak you bit your lip then nodded. In one swift motion he picked you
and your legs wrapped around your waist as he carried you out of the kitchen
and up the stairs. You kissed down his jawline and then down his neck finding
his sweet spot when a moan escaped his lips. Then you felt the cool wood of his
bedroom door on your back as he pushed you into it, causing it to swing open. He
walked into the room kicking the door closed behind him before throwing you
down on the bed him falling onto of his arms either side of your head as he
moved to begin kissing down your neck. One arm went to his waist the other
stayed in his hair. A moan escaped your lips and you could feel him smirk
against your skin.
His lips returned to yours kissing you deeply, your hands travelled
down his back to the bottom of his shirt, you felt his hot skin against your
fingertips and began trailing your hands up his back feeling every muscle and
contour until your hands reached his shoulders. He pulled away from you briefly
to pull his shirt over his head before kissing you again.
Let’s just say you didn’t get any of your assignment done
I know there’s been hundreds of these done before, but I just wanted to share my opinion on the highlights and lowlights of the new 2017 live action film (WHICH I ABSOLUTELY LOVED AND WILL BE SEEING A SECOND TIME), upon looking at all the comments and criticisms I’ve seen either through youtube videos, critics, and scrolling through tumblr.
Cons/scenes that confused me:
- The opening number was not as magical as it could have been. I can’t describe exactly what–it just wasn’t as impactful as a number as the original - The library scene was not as much as a big reveal. It felt so casual and rushed into–but I really liked how it was such a surprise in the original version - I feel like Emma Watson could have put more emotion into her singing. I mean of course she can’t top Paige O’Hara but still, I feel like sometimes her soul wasn’t as into it (probably tho because she’s not a musical actress) - Why the townspeople ganged up on Belle to ruin her laundry–is teaching a girl to read considered that big of a sin??? seems like a bit of a stretch - I really wanted the proposal scene to happen where Gaston gets rejected, maybe not entirely the same, but just simply something that would outrage Belle more than the conversation she had in this version - “Gaston, you are positively primeval” was not included - “No one says no to Gaston!” was not included - “Every last inch of me’s covered in hair” was not included - The way Emma Thompson sang BATB wasn’t as great as it should’ve been. A lot of times she sang it slower than the actual tempo to the point where I felt like she had to catch up on the song and it sounded off. I appreciate her trying to sound different from the original but it was getting a bit excessive - No one questioning why Belle was wearing a ballgown upon being missing for days and being held captive by a beast - Why Belle called Gaston a monster??? I mean, we as an audience know why, but Belle had no previous knowledge of the monstrous things Gaston had done and the only thing he’d done to her is act like a bigot and vain - Was I the only one who thought Beast didn’t look hot?? i mean, i liked the gentle vibe he kinda had in the original, but in this version, he’s too much of a hybrid amongst human and beast which kinda creeped me out at times - Mrs. Potts’ & Chip’s animation was a bit odd to me–despite the Prince wanting the most extravagant of items–their design wasn’t that beautiful or appealing to me - Belle keeping the rattle that her mom kissed when she had the plague is dangerous, isn’t it? - The castle crumbling when the last few petals fell from the rose made no sense–like it’s not like the castle totally fell apart when the last petal fell - Though the transformation scene was wonderful, I had wished Adam or Belle had said something to make the silence less awkward and make the moment more romantic - The ending scene was nice with the finale song, but I feel like they should’ve done something that tied up the film, I was looking forward to a finale kiss between Belle and Prince Adam but they just danced and it just kinda ended??? there was no impact there
- The close-up shots of Belle when she sings her solo part in ‘Belle’ was done beautifully - Belle’s reprise and the infamous ‘Sound of Music’ scene was some great cinematography - The deeper father-daughter dynamic between Belle and Maurice. They added a lot more depth to this character (kevin kline made him funnier and more endearing :”) ) - Belle’s voice sounding more normal throughout the film compared to the autotuned versions released in trailers & online (i was really going in with low expectations of her singing due to what was previously shown but it sounded fine in the movie???) - Belle’s “Ugh!!!” after the thought of being Gaston’s wife - Belle’s costume changes; giving her boots vs. flats, hitching up the side of her skirt so she could run more freely and ride horses, adding pockets to store her books, etc. - ALL THE PLOT HOLE FIX-UPS (every time they explained something new i was like OHHH THAT MAKES SENSE NOW) - Having more scenes showing the Beast’s character as well as seeing more of the chemistry with him and Belle - All the new original songs blew me away. Once again, Alan Menken is a true legend. - Evermore was so essential and I’m so glad they decided to give Beast a solo song (i always wanted to hear one from him, and it gave me Phantom vibes which was BONUS) - Character development with LeFou - All of LeFou’s lines (i cracked up every single time) - Golden cast. - Dan Stevens and his facial expressions, acting through his eyes, how he poured his heart and soul in evermore. - Luke Evans was literally Gaston brought to life. The voice, the looks, the charm. I also liked how he was a bit darker in this version. - Josh Gad brilliant once again, I lost it at “It’s never gonna happen ladies”
- Ewan McGregor gave a refreshing retake on Lumiere and his singing was great! - “The East Wing, or as I like to call it, the ONLY wing” - Maurice admiring Lumiere and Cogsworth as the two argued who he was referring to once he left - DIVERSE CAST - Interracial couples. - The song ‘Gaston’ blew me away. It was better than the original. - Visually stunning scenes throughout. - Beast saying they should run away together (my heart melted when he said that) - BE OUR GUEST GAVE ME GOOSEBUMPS. DID NOT DISAPPOINT. (i was really nervous about them messing it up but it gave me the thrills just as the original) - How this movie really tugged on my heartstrings and I cried 6 times throughout the whole 2 hours. - Belle singing ‘How Does a Moment Last Forever’ was beautiful - “Too touristy?” - Beast - Beast trying to protect his masculinity when he was caught reading a romance - All the passionate stares between Belle and Beast throughout the film - EVERMORE. - The ballroom scene was breathtaking. The ballroom set itself was–dhlsdkfhdsk - Beast/Prince Adam’s mother being his sun (insert sobbing) - The mob song was also done better than the original. (OMG BUT LEFOU’S LINE THO–) - The way the beast screamed “BELLE!” was heart-wrenching - The transformation scene was powerful, Dan Stevens was beautiful. That kiss tho–right in the feels. - “Turn back into a clock. Back into a clock.” - The Finale ver of Beauty and the Beast was lovely, the new lyrics added in were just the perfect finishing touch as well - BELLE’S WHITE DRESS WAS STUNNING. - “How would you feel about growing a beard?” *GROWLS* (me: dies) - LEFOU FINDING HIS SOULMATE + FIRST DISNEY GAY REP. - Everyone dancing together (instead of everyone just awkwardly watching Belle & Adam dance)
Second time out/back from seeing Beauty and the Beast **SPOILERS ABOUND**
(aka bear with me b/c this review is a week and a half late and I can actually comment on stuff I loved throughout it. It might end up being long af so I’m sorry in advance bc I talk about when everyone got cast too. This is probably filled with typos.)
PPS:I am the minority who loved it deeply, and don’t have nothing to complain about. Except a few words on the group of people who sat beside me tonight and would not shut up during Evermore and the transformation scene aka MY MOST FAVOURITE DISNEY KISS EVER)
So lets get down to it. I LOVED this movie the first time I saw it. As I have stated numerous times through tags. Ill be real here I was skeptical as hell about this being turned into a LA remake. But as the casting was announced my worries went away completely?
BECAUSE JESUS CHRIST WHAT A FABULOUS CAST! I don’t even know who to start with honestly? All of them ARE JUST SO GOOD???
We’ll just start with the most obvious choice (and the one who had the most flack after being cast)
And that is the absolute wonder and light of my life DAN FUCKING STEVENS
BECAUSE THIS GUY. OMG. ANYTHING HE DID IN THIS MOVIE JUST…BLEW. ME. THE. FUCK. AWAY??? And I’m just so grateful and forever indebted to him for bringing quite possibly the best reinterpretation of the Beast/Adam to life. Like honestly the Beast is my favourite character ever he has been since I was 5 and I just…NO AMOUNT OF WORDS COULD DESCRIBE IT. (actually I have TONS of words and i’ll get more into this later) but I’m moving on for now.
Emma Thompson I love Emma T so much I have since forever and she’s so charming and soft hearted as Mrs Potts. Say what you will about the accents used in this movie I loved that she was English….
And Luke Evans I knew about him prior to this and vaguely, through watching him in The Hobbit and that god awful movie version of the Three Musketeers (same can be said for Dan, b/c before I watched some of his other stuff I had only know him from Night at the Museum 3)
Luke brought such a great energy to this character and I loved how Gaston started out as an okay dude but slowly dissented into his villainy? The way he portrayed this was astounding b/c as soon as the script called for the change up he handled it with such ease? And wow I just love Gaston so much in this movie.
Josh Gad we gotta talk about FUCKING JOSH GAD I’m not getting into the knitty gritty of things since its not my place to comment on such but I LOVED HIM IN THIS ROLE SO MUCH MORE THAN I LOVED HIM IN FROZEN? He’s so hilarious. AND HIS LINES WERE A+++
He just brought so much classiness to LeFou and he just made him so likable? and the fact that HE FOUGHT TO KEEP IN THE SNOWMAN GAG FROM THE ORIGINAL VERSION. I honestly hope they give me all the deleted scenes from this movie.
FUCKING EWAN MCGREGOR AND SIR IAN MCKELLEN AS COGSWORTH AND LUMIERE I just WOW WHAT A GREAT ACTING COMBO (aka all ive ever wanted from the remains of my dull life.)
AND AUDRA MCDONALD AS GARDEROBE AND STANLEY ‘ACTUAL KING OF EVERYTHING HE IS IN’ TUCCI as a sassy piano THAT WAS LITERALLY CREATED FROM SCRATCH FOR HIM? (more on these two later as well because omg they are everything to me and stole my heart??)
AND KEVIN FUCKING KLINE omg I loved him so much in this movie just PERFECT honestly.
I’m trying to keep this short so I can move on to my next bunch of thoughts. And not just yap about the casting. (Bullet points listed below, bc I’m getting into the changes) And to begin:
THE SCENARY AND CGI IN THIS MOVIE WERE FUCKING ASTOUNDING? I DIED? IT WAS BEAUTIFUL, say what you want about what the beast looked like. Dan Stevens exhausted himself entirely for 2-3 months just to make the beast into a computer animated caricature. AND I LOVED THE ANIMATION ON THE CASTLE STAFF? I also really loved the backstories for everyone it just filled in so much that I found lacking in the original. Just everything that filled in all the plotholes were A++
THE PROLOGUE and it being narrated by the ENCHANTRESS.(Side note: I loved the technicalities and consequences with this new curse)
DAN STEVENS GRACING ME WITH HIS FAB TALENT AND NOT SAYING A THING DURING SAID PROLOGUE AND JUST LAUGHING EVILLY AND YET FLAWLESSLY GETTING THE POINT ACROSS THAT THE PRINCE BEFORE MEETING BELLE WAS AN ABSOLUTE PANSY ASS DICK? Also him in the black get up with the black swan make up?? a lookTM
THE CLOSE UPS OF GARDEROBE AND CADENZA AND THEIR LITTLE DOGGO FRU FRU BEFORE THE CASTLE IS CHANGED INTO OBJECTS?? THE FACT THAT FRU FRU IS THEIR DOG?
THAT WHOLE OPENING SEQUENCE IS INTENSE AS HELL
Omg when Gaston stepped on Belle’s cabbages THERE WERE LIKE 3-4 KIDS THAT GASPED. It made me smile omg.
When Maurice and Phillipe were heading out of town and in the woods heading to the castle. One child was like “aww look at the horsey” I mean…
WHEN MAURICE IS IN THE CASTLE AND MEETS CHIP everyone laughed like honestly I was blessed with actually being a a cinema room full of people that laughed and reacted to stuff b/c last week when I went there were crickets, some child mad an off hand comment later on in the movie when Beast invites Belle to dinner and he does the smileTM I kid you not I heard “look his tiny teeth” I love his tiny fangs so much hes just so awkwardly endearing altogether.
OKAY OKAY OKAY SO WHEN BELLE HEADS UP TO THE CASTLE TO FIND HER DADDO AND SHES AT THE CELL IM PRETTY SURE THEY PLAY THE SCORE TO EVERMORE? its like lowkey but I NOTICED IT AND IT WAS GLORIOUS.
all the songs in this movie and the additional lyrics woven into the film added 30 years to my life.
THE WHOLE “GASTON” NUMBER WAS FABULOUS AND EVERYTHING AND MORE ITS BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL VERSION THAT WHOLE MOMENT WHEN THEY BREAK TO CLAP AND STOP ON THE TABLE AND THE FACT THAT THE SCORE FOR THAT BIT SOUNDS LIKE A CAVALRY CHARGE AND THE WHOLE “SAY IT AGAIN” BIT AFTER THE “I USE ANTLERS IN ALL OF MY DECORATING” LINE.
BUT LIKE THERE IS MORE BECAUSE OMG THEY GAVE COGSWORTH STUFF TO SING DURING “BE OUR GUEST” INSTEAD OF JUST “SOMETHING THERE”. LIKE THE ONLY OTHER TIME HE SINGS IS IN THE ORIGINAL DURING “HUMAN AGAIN” I love the flawless smooth transition from SIR IAN MCKELLEN belting out the COURSE BY COURSE bit of that verse and Ewan being like ONE BY ONE immediately after? honestly I always fist bump during that moment when I listen to the soundtrack. AND THE WHOLE NUMBER IN THE MOVIE IS JUST SOO GREAT. I love my crotchety old clock and dramatically extra candlestick. the best BROTP.
Ok, so the people I sat beside started laughing during little Adam’s part in Days In the Sun and omg I was off hand annoyed because it ruined my chance to start the water works even though I still cried.
BEAST TRASHING ON ROMEO AND JULIET WILL FOREVER BE ICONIC to me I LOVE WELL READ BEAST SO MUCH I’m tired of the ‘but I wish he would have stayed illiterate’ statements.
EVERYONE. AND WHEN I SAY EVERYONE I MEAN EVERYONE ERRUPTED INTO LAUGHTER WHEN BEAST HAULED THAT BIG ASS SNOWBALL AT BELLE’S HEAD.
ALSO any time Beast gave Belle his little smiles??? they were so pure and cute
So seeing this movie a second time the yellow dress discourse is quiet frankly ?? to me I loved it AND I LOVE THE FACT THAT DAN STEVENS MADE THE BEAST UTTERLY DISTRESSED OVER ASKING HER FOR A DANCE IN THE BALLROOM? (THAT WHOLE SEQUENCE IS SO FUCKING GORGEOUS)
LIKE…I JUST LOVE HOW MUCH LIFE AND PERSONALITY AND 3 DIMENSIONALISM HE GAVE HIM B/C I WILL BE TALKING ABOUT THIS PORTRAYAL UNTIL IM DEAD AND IN THE GROUND.
Which brings me to the make up scene everyone laughed and I almost could not stop laughing at the scene change.
Emma Thompson’s version of Beauty and the Beast is so wonderful. I love it.
THE FIRST TIME I HEARD EVERMORE IN THE MOVIE I WAS STUNNED INTO SILENCE AND JUST DAN STEVENS AGAIN GRACING ME WITH SUCH RAW EMOTION AND TALENT. SIGH I JUST LOVE THAT WHOLE SEQUENCE, I WOULD HAVE LOVED IT EVEN MORE HAD I BEEN REALLY INTO THE SECOND TIME SEEING IT BUT ALAS THE PERSON BESIDE ME WAS LAUGHING AND I WAS JUST LIKE… RUDE. HONESTLY THOUGH THE PAIR OF PIPES DAN STEVENS HAS HE HAS SUCH A BEAUTFUL RANGE AND WHEN HE SINGS ANGELS DESCEND FROM HEAVEN, AND JUST THIS WHOLE FUCKING SONG GAVE ME THE LAARGEST EARGASM THE FIRST TIME I HEARD IT. LIKE HONESTLY GOD BLESS ALAN MUSICAL GENIEUS KING MENKEN
Honestly everyone is at war against whether Josh or Dan’s version is better and I just prefer Dan’s version so much. I found Josh Groban’s version too slow even though he sings like an angel too.
tt.tt THE MOB SONG and the castle staff going up in arms was always my fave in the 90s version. And it did not disappoint.
Bullet points are done I am heading into paragraph summarizing my thoughts on the last 30-40 minutes. BECAUSE THIS SHIT WAS UNREAL, and HARROWINGLY DARK. AND I LOVED THESE CHANGES FROM THE ORIGINAL.
THE WHOLE CASTLE TURRET CHASE SCENE WAS SO FUCKING GOOD I HAD MULTIPLE HEAR TATTACKSTHE FACT THEY SWITCHED UP THE HUNTING KNIFE AND REPLACED IT WITH A PISTOL that moment when the Beast gets shot oh god.
Like when Belle comes back and sees the Beast and he literally SHOUTS OUT HER NAME I am crying?? and deceased?? and then he gets shot 2 more times honestly this was equally amazing and heartbreakingly brutal.
And let me tell the whole concept of the castle actually breaking apart as the petals fall, that is just such a neat spin and I love it.
So like I said I found the twist with the curse fascinating because in the original the only thing it focused largely on was the Beast, Mrs Potts, Plumette, Lumiere , Cogsworth and FruFru. I LOVE THAT THE MOVIE CEMENTED AND ROUNDED ALL OF THE CASTLE STAFF AND GAVE THEM A LARGER SPOLIGHT THAN IN THE ORIGINAL LIKE THE CASTLE STAFF MAKES UP HALF OF THE CAST/CHARACTERS FOR THIS MOVIE. For the past week and a half people have said why was the inanimate scene so long and drawn out? Because the castle staff are the greatest and the only family the Beast has besides Belle that’s why… the end. Also I ship the hell out of Cadenza & Garderobe, Plumette and Lumiere AND MR AND MRS POTTS OMG.
THE WHOLE INANIMATION SEQUENCE HAD MY ENTIRE SOUL IN SHREADS, IVE ??? NEVER?? CRIED??? SO MUCH IN MY LIFE??? LIKE LUMIERE HOLDING PLUMETTE IN HIS ARMS AND SETTING HER DOWN GENTLY AND MRS POTTS NOT BEING ABLE TO GET TO CHIP AND CHIP ALMOST FUCKING BREAKING BUT THE COATHANGER CATCHING HIM THE LAST SECOND AS HIS SAUCER BREAKS? CADENZA AND GADEROBE REUNITING AND HER TELLING HIM THAT HE IS BRAVE JUST BEFORE SHE FADES AWAY AND HIM BEGGING HER NOT TO LEAVE HIM?? I MEAN THAT IS THE TEXTBOOK DEFINIITION OF PURE AND UTTER DEVOTION RIGHT THERE FRIENDS.THE SADDEST THING ABOUT THEIR INANIMATION SCENE IS THE FACT THAT THEIR DOGGO FRU FRU BECOMES INANIMATE BETWEEN THEM. COGSWORTH AND LUMIERE SAYING GOODBYE. NEED I SAY MORE.
BUT THEN THE TRANSFORMATION SCENE HAPPENED AND I COULD NOT BREATHE I LOVEED HOW THEY FILMED THIS SCENE AND HOW EMMA AND DAN PLAYED THIS SCENE. NEVER IN MY LIFE WILL I LOVE ANYTHING AS MUCH AS I LOVE THIS SCENE.
Everyone is like “well why didn’t they say anything?”
I LOVED that HE DID NOT NEED TO SAY ‘BELLE, ITS ME?”
this iconic masterly filmed sequence only needed to be filmed with sheer BODY LANGUAGE, VISUAL EXPRESSIONS AND EMOTIONS COMING FROM BOTH DAN AND EMMA AND I JUST AM ASTOUNDED? EVERYTHING THEY FELT COULD BE SEEN BY THE AUDIENCE I FELT THAT SHIT DEEP IN MY SOUL AND IVE ANALYZED EVERYTHING LEADING UP TO THE KISS. FROM THEIR LOOKS OF DAZED WONDERMENT AFTER BEAST TURNS BACK INTO A HUMAN, AND HIS LITTLE HUFF OF RELIEF AFTER HE INTIALLY TURNS AROUND AND FACES EMMA, TO DAN’S HEAVY BREATHING, BELLE PLAYING WITH HIS HAIR AND HIM THREADING HIS FINGERS THROUGH HERS IN TURN? THE FACE TOUCH AS SHE IS LOOKING FOR ANY SIGN THAT THIS IS INFACT THAT GUY SHE LOVES?? (HONEST TO GOD THAT SHOT OF DAN HE IS ALREADY A BEAUTFUL GUY BUT HOLY HELL HE LOOKED SO GOOD IN THIS SCENE) THE CLOSE UP SHOT OF HIS EYES. HER RELIEVED LAUGH AND THE IMMENSE GENTLE CAUTION BETWEEN THEM JUST BEFORE THEY KISS AND THAT GIANT ASS INHALE DAN TAKES AS SOON AS THEY MAKE CONTACT ALSO MENTIONING THE FACT THAT ONCE THEY DO KISS HER HAND MOVES FROM HIS CHEST TO HIS WAIST.
THIS WHOLE SCENE IS LITERALLY THE LIVING EMBODIMENT OF THE PATRICK STEWART ACTING GIF
I LOVE THIS KISS SO MUCH HONESTLY ITS MY FAVOURITE DISNEY KISS.
The best was when they all became human again and reunited and were left with parting gifts from the curse. I laughed out loud when they showed Stanley Tucci with no teeth.
UGH AND THE LAST SCENE WITH CADENZA BEING SO FUCKING HAPPY AND SMILING AS THE WIFEY IS SINGING again.
EMMA AND AUDRA singing the final number omg the whole coronation dance scene was everything.
AND JUST THIS WHOLE MOVIE IS FABULOUS AND I NEEDED THE DVD TO BE RELEASED YESTERDAY.
Here's Why Moana and/or Kubo and the Two Strings Should Have Won
Tonight, Zootopia has won Best Animated Feature. First off, let me say my thoughts on Zootopia. I really liked it when it came out. And I still do! I thought it had great characters, humor, animation and some good commentary on racism today. It deserved its nomination but I personally don’t think it was the Best Animated Feature. I think it should have gone to either two films (I could not pick both as they are both dear to my heart), Moana and Kubo and the Two Strings. I’ll start with Kubo first.
This movie was something that blew me away when I first watched it. The animation was incredible with so much hard work and detail that went into it- the animators behind this animation deserve awards for it alone. The characters, story and emotions were all portrayed flawlessly. By the time the movie was over, I was still feeling the emotional resonance of the film’s ending.
Now, I understand that a lot of people were upset over casting white actors and actresses in the main roles. And I understand and get why people are mad over that. However, not to hate on Zootopia (I really like the movie, don’t get me wrong on that), but the movie’s main theme was about racism and that’s a good theme and it was portrayed in a very good way. However, the main cast is still mostly white, with even the people of color still only having supporting roles. Even the voice actor behind Nick Wilde- a character supposed to represent people of color- is white. Yet everyone only points fingers at Kubo. And since they have great voice performances in Kubo, I believe that there’s a good chance that they were cast because of their voices. So I don’t think we should let the cast foreshadow the awesomeness of Kubo.
Now, on to Moana. I saw this movie on one of its first Tuesday screenings and I was very excited to see this. I’ve been looking forward to seeing it the moment Disney announce they were doing this movie. After I saw Moana, it became one of my favorite Disney movies. While the movie does follow the Disney formula that has been current in most of their recent films, the way the story is done is what makes it work. The performances of the characters are all amazing- especially those of Dwayne Johnson and Auli'i Cravalho. I really like the fact that Disney found someone new and someone who really sounded like a real teenager for Moana. Auli'i’s voice is what helped make Moana the amazing character she was in the movie. Dwayne also did an awesome job as Maui and his song in the movie had to have been one of my favorite songs. And speaking of the songs, the music in this movie was FANTASTIC. There was never one song that I thought was just ok. Every song was either fun, epic, inspiring, entertaining or both! The way Polynesian culture was represented was also so amazing and wonderful to see on the big screen! Disney really did a good job giving this beautiful culture the representation it deserved. I also have to mention the character of the movie’s lead- Moana herself. Moana herself earns the title of this movie. She has to be the Disney Princess Heroine that I have most connected with. She truly felt real and while she may not have succeeded everytime in the movie, she grew past that and was able to truly be the hero in the end.
The strengths of these two movies are what make me believe that these movies both deserve recognition. Zootopia is a great movie but we have to make way for ALL wonderful and talented movies to shine. Kubo and Moana deserve to be shown to many and I strongly encourage all of you to support both of these awesome movies!
If you’ve been following me on social media, you know I’ve been sitting on this news for a while. I’ve been referring to The Big Secret Project for nearly a year and a half now. Well, here goes.
I sold a book!
I could not be more thrilled to announce that THE LADY FROM THE BLACK LAGOON has sold to editor Peter Joseph at the new imprint Hanover Square Press, thanks to my incredible agent Brady McReynolds at JABberwocky Literary Agency!
What’s it about?
In 1954, after designing The Creature From The Black Lagoon’s Gill Man for Universal Studios, Milicent Patrick was sent on a press tour across the country to promote the film. She was the first woman (and only, still) to ever design a famous monster. The buzz she received on the tour sent the head of the monster shop at Universal into a jealous rage and he fired her. She never designed for another film and soon dropped out of the world of cinema forever. Her contributions to movie history were largely forgotten and no one knew what happened to her.
Milicent Patrick has been my hero since I was a teenager and found a picture of her with the Creature. She was the first woman I had ever seen working on a monster movie. She’s been a talisman I’ve held close in my years working as a filmmaker and it’s always broken my heart that nothing was known about her.
In the winter of 2015, on the urging of my amazing agent, I decided to start my own private investigation into Milicent’s life and find out for myself. What I discovered blew me away. Milicent’s life was even more incredible than I imagined. THE LADY FROM THE BLACK LAGOON chronicles my search for Milicent and tells her amazing tale, from growing up at Hearst Castle, to animating at Disney, to designing monsters for Hollywood. Imagine Julie and Julia, but for women in horror.
It’s been my honor to bring Milicent’s story to life. I’m beyond excited to bring this book to the world. I hope it inspires more monster girls!
Summary: (Y/N) is a strong independent female who is slightly on the plus size. She’s been in Beacon Hills for her entire life with no friends; but she prefers it that way. Stiles enjoys watching (Y/N) from afar, he’s picked up on her little habits that she doesn’t think anyone notices but he’s afraid to confront her but with prom just around the corner, Stiles doesn’t know whether to play it save with a friend or to try something new.
Prompt: requested by @artfuck ; I hope this is what you wanted :-)
A/N: If you’re going to get butt hurt about me writing (Y/N) as overweight/plus size then don’t read this. I used to be overweight so I don’t mean to insult anyone who is plus sized - sometimes people can’t help it.
Stiles stared at you from across the classroom; your head was stuck in yet another book, but it was different from the one you were reading last week. He had his elbow rested on the table, and his chin on his hand. Scott was beside him, nudging him slightly; he gave his best friend a weird look.
“Stop staring,” Stiles shuffled awkwardly in his chair but didn’t miss you looking up from your book to glance at the two boys. You shut her book and placed it in your bag before leaving the near empty classroom. Stiles hurried from his seat before scurrying after the girl that barely knew he existed.
You were just near your locker when you heard footsteps running in your direction. You stood to the side to let the spastic lad go by you but you were shocked when he stopped in front of you. “(Y/N), hi.” He breathed, clearly out of breath. You gave him an odd look but decided to ignore him and continued to your locker.
“Hey, hey, can I talk to you for a minute?” He managed to get out, resting against some stranger’s locker. You turned to face him and looked around at the students looking at you two. “Are you okay?” You asked, not sure as to why Stiles Stilinski was talking to you.
He nodded, holding up a finger to tell you to wait a second, you chuckled; bringing your cardigan around your body more - you weren’t too fond of the attention that you were getting. “I just wanted to ask… if you’re going to prom next week?” Stiles nervously asked, changing his weight from one foot to another waiting for you to answer. “No, I’m not…” Before Stiles could get another word in you snapped at him, “And I’m not going at all. I don’t know why you’re talking to me, but please stop.” You mumbled, before storming down the corridor and out of sight.
It was the night of prom, a night you had no interest in and also a night that you were spending alone. Being alone wasn’t new to you, at a young age; you realized that you weren’t like the others in Beacon Hills, you were nearly twice their size which was strange, everyone was relatively thin and healthy looking. Everyone wanted to befriend Lydia Martin, the perfect, pretty, skinny girl and people ignored you. You were pretty in your own way; your eyes shined for days on end and you’ve got a smile to die for, but that’s not what people want.
You got used to spending birthdays and weekends alone in the company of your art and books. At least Edward Cullen understood you. You were just about to change the DVD in the player when a knock on your door broke your concentration, you looked at the time. It was only eight in the evening. Walking to your door, you sighed when you saw Stiles Stilinski grinning through the window, waving.
“Hi,” You greeted, slightly confused as to why he was here. “Before you tell me to go away, listen.” He demanded, you noted that he wasn’t dressed for the prom; yet for a casual night in, he also carried a plastic bag with him. “I don’t know why you blew me off last week or why I haven’t seen you in school since, but I want to get to know you. I want you to let me get to know you and that’s why, if you don’t have plans tonight,” He rummaged through the back, “I brought two of my all time favorite movies, ice cream and last but not least, chocolate covered peanuts.” You couldn’t help the smile that covered your face as you opened the door wider, “Come right on in.” You said, and he bounced right through the door and to the living room.
“So why aren’t you at prom?” You asked, getting comfortable in your chair as he pressed play on the first movie. He blushed and sat next to you, “I only wanted to go with you.” He said brutally honest and you felt your heart flicker with each word. “I’m sorry I blew you off,” You started, coughing nervously, “But I thought it was some sick joke. I mean, I’m not the prettiest or the skinniest person in Beacon Hills.” You sighed, looking down at the bowl of ice cream on your leg.
Stiles shuffled closer to you, his hand grasping yours, “(Y/N), you are way more gorgeous than any of those girls that walk the corridors. You’re pure and down to earth and that’s what I like about you.” He looked at you, “I’ve liked you for a while, to be completely honest; I just thought you wanted to be left alone, but I couldn’t handle it anymore. Every time you fix your hair or laugh at something you read, I get this weird sensation but I want to feel it all the time with you.” You looked away, blushing.
“You’re so sweet.” You mumbled, facing the television, he sighed and wrapped an arm around your shoulder. You hesitated for a moment before cuddling into his side. You couldn’t remember the last time you felt this comfortable and safe with someone.
Please remember this was requested by someone; I didn’t want to focus too much on the reader being plus size as it is only a minor detail. I tried to focus on her just being self-conscious even though I am aware that there are loads of plus sized women who are confident and proud and I applaud you all.
When Friday finally rolls around, you wake up with a smile on your face.
Tonight is your date with Chris.
You still can’t believe you’d managed to get this far, but you were determined to have a good time and try to make a real connection with him.
Sitting up in bed, you reach over to your nightstand to grab your cell phone. The screen lights up with various notifications, some texts, and one missed call. You swipe through all the new content before you land on a text from your publicist, which contains nothing but a link. You click it, raising your eyebrows in surprise when you see where it leads.
The headline is simple, “WILL THEY OR WON’T THEY?” but the photos just beneath it are of you and Chris, which makes your stomach knot up. You scroll down the page to the article.
“Unless you live under a rock, you must be familiar with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, a late-night staple among many people in the US. If you were watching last week, you might’ve caught an appearance by actress (Your Name) (Your Last Name) in which she admitted to having a crush on superhero actor and all-around dreamboat Chris Evans. Not only that, but Fallon then surprised (Your Last Name) by bringing Evans out from backstage, where he then proceeded to ask (Your Last Name) on a date. So, our question now is: will they or won’t they? Was it all for show? Will there actually be a date this Friday night? We don’t know the answers, but here’s one thing that’s a given: they’d make an awfully cute couple.”
What were your expectations before watching Beauty & The Beast (2017), and then your opinion about it after seeing it?
Here are a few of mine:
I didn’t think Belle’s dress was amazing when I first saw the promotional pictures. I didn’t hate it as much as other people in the fandom did, but I also didn’t love it. I thought it was a bit of an ‘eh’.
Belle’s dress is so beautiful and elegantly designed for dancing. That ballroom dance scene really blew me away with how much it just ~swooshes~ around. Though, I still have mixed feeling about the gold embellishments.
I had no idea who LeFou was. It’s been such a long time since I watched the original movie that I completely forgot all about his character.
LeFou has got to be my absolute favorite character in the entire movie. I love him even more than I love Gaston, and that’s saying a lot. I think he may even be in my top 5 Disney characters of all time, now.
I didn’t like the Beast’s design. It looked so much like CGI to me and so cartoonish. It didn’t look real enough.
I loved how they used the facial recognition and CGI to their full advantage to have Dan Stevens’ amazing acting skills put into use. The Beast’s emotion can really have your heart break. Disney made the right call when using CGI instead of prosthetics. The Beast and his little, sassy faces enhanced my cinematic experience.
Every night, night after night that she stayed up puttin’ piece after piece into that coat was sown with love. It was like, Dolly, with every stitch that she was mending our family’s broken hearts. Your mama’s heart holds all the love for our family, Dolly. And her heart’s strong… but it can be broken.
Well cinephiles and friends alike, my annual list of favorite films has finally arrived. I had to take these first few weeks in the new year to re-watch some of this years gems to order my list accurately. Through careful deliberation, I present to you my favorite films of 2016. Make sure to check out my top pick lists from previous years provided below!
Honorable Mentions: The Wailing Elle Goat The Sea of Trees The Witch Green Room Lemonade The Odyssey Black Mirror: San Junipero
** THIS LIST IS IN ORDER **
#18 - The Childhood of a Leader Directed by Brady Corbet
Brady Corbet’s directorial debut is a chilling fictional tale about the rise of fascism in the early 20th century. The result is a character study focusing on the origins of evil. Corbet is clearly inspired by the aesthetics of Michael Haneke, Ingmar Bergman and even a little bit of Andrei Tarkovsky. Long tracking shots and an overpowering orchestral score brings the audience on this artistic journey. The conclusion of the film left me shocked, watch out for it.
#17 - Operation Avalanche Directed by Matt Johnson
Operation Avalanche is a true hidden gem for anyone who delights in films centered around conspiracy theories. The theory of the moon landing being a staged production might be one of the most ridiculous hoaxes out of them all - and there are groups of people who truly believe it. However, this film is made in a way that actually makes it seem like a very possible reality. The movie is cleverly filmed in a POV mockumentary format with a classic 60s filter. The film shifts in tone from a comedy of sorts and ends in paranoia. I found it to be one of the most underrated films of the year.
#16 - Swiss Army Man Directed by The Daniels
It’s an impressive feat when a film featuring constant flatulence and directional erections can also end up being a heartfelt and existential story of friendship. There are very few comedies on this list, or on any of my other annual lists for that matter. Swiss Army Man succeeded on making me laugh multiple times. I praise it simply for its originality and the fact that the filmmakers tackled on such ridiculous themes in a way that they didn’t become immature or worthy of an eye roll. Another shoutout to the energetic score and colorful production design.
#15 - La La Land Directed by Damien Chazelle
The musical genre is most definitely one of my least favorite ones. Other than a few exceptions (Across the Universe, The Wall, Dancer in the Dark), I have found most musicals to be unbearably cheesy. The cheese is still there in La La Land, but it is effective because that is the intended tone. It truly is a throwback to the golden age of Hollywood filled with allusions from earlier infamous musicals such as Singing in The Rain. I anticipated this film from the start both because Damien Chazelle blew me away with Whiplash and because Ryan Gosling is my favorite actor working today. Shot on a film, in a dazzling Technicolor format, it also features some of the most awe inspiring cinematography out of all the movies released this year. I believe La La Land is the film that we needed to end 2016 with - a film filled with magic and hope for a better future.
#14 - Manchester by the Sea Directed by Kenneth Lonergan
Man did this movie crush me. It squeezed everything out of me and left me a hollow shell. I went home and sat on my couch and just cried after leaving the theatre. Don’t let this lead you astray from watching it, it’s just such a realistic heart-wrenching drama that I couldn’t help but be affected by it the entire day after seeing it. It might not be a masterpiece as such critics claim it to be, but it is a moving insight on the loss of loved ones and the emotional wreckage that can come out of it. There is no overly-done melodrama or redemption in the denouement. Instead, it focuses on little moments that end up forming a much greater whole by the end. Casey Affleck’s restrained performance was something I empathize with as he held a tragic rage behind his eyes.
#13 - Jackie Directed by Pablo Lorrain
This was a film that grew on me days after seeing it. I was absorbed by it while I watched it in a small art-house theatre, but it was afterward where it really began to resonate with me. The JFK assassination is a momumental tragedy in history that has always greatly interested me. I remember being haunted by the video footage when it was shown to me in a college history class. While the script may be lacking in areas, the performance by Natalie Portman is the saving grace of this production. Portman has transcended her star status in this role by flawlessly emulating the former First Lady. Jackie is a film that plays like a fragmented memory - it jumps in time throughout. The production design transported me to the 1960s and Mica Levi’s score really is the standout aspect of the film.
#12 - The Blackcoat’s Daughter Directed by Oz Perkins
I believe The Blackcoat’s Daughter is the year’s most underrated and ignored horror film. The very few critic reviews I found online all have positive things to say, while most audience reviews are the opposite. This is the feature film debut of director Oz Perkins. He has created a richly nuanced horror film that never reaches any outrageous or flashy climax, which is a breath of fresh air compared to the usual tripe that comes out of Hollywood year after year. Perkin’s directs the film with a restrained control that would make his horror-icon of a father, Anthony Perkins, proud. There is a thick haze of dread that doesn’t ease up until the film’s bleak finale. The films minimal use of dialogue works perfectly in unison with the nonstop rumbling score. The entire aesthetic of The Blackcoat’s Daughter is what made it work so well for me. Loads of unnecessary dialogue and jump scares are replaced with well executed tracking shots and genuinely upsetting violence. The end product is a deliciously evil exercise In dread.
#11 - The Eyes of My Mother Directed by Nicolas Pesce
The Eyes of My Mother is the type of art-house horror film I feel like I’ve been waiting all year for. Everything about it speaks to me as a horror fan. The story seems as if it was ripped out of one of my worst nightmares; Or better yet, if you could visualize the musings of a demented asylum patient - the result would be The Eyes of My Mother. This film would never have been as effective if it wasn’t for the lush, gorgeous black and white photography. Camera shots are shrowded in shadows which adds to the aforementioned nightmare effect. Thank god this film has such a short runtime (it’s only a little over 70 minutes). I wasn’t sure how much more I could take of this grueling tale. The last 20 minutes of the film takes a plunge into the heart of darkness - which to many viewers could be considered completely morally reprehensible. Well, a desensitized horror junkie such as myself was pleased by the filmmaker’s decision to conclude this story as depraved as possible. I decided to celebrate Christmas this year in the holiday spirit by showing this movie to my brother. By the end of it, he just turned to me and asked: “Why do you do this to me?”.
#10 - The Light Between Oceans Directed by Derek Cianfrance
Derek Cianfrance is one of my very favorite directors working today. His first two films (Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines) both have found a place in my top 15 favorite films of all time. Needless to say I’ve been tirelessly anticipating his latest feature. It didn’t have the same impact on me as his previous features; however, it still ended up being an impressive and heartbreaking picture. Adam Arkapaw works wonders as the DOP. His camerawork captures the coast of Australia beautifully. Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander work perfectly off of each other (yet another instance of Fassbender completely investing himself in a role). Keep an ear out for the perfectly utilized “Funeral Canticle” track that has never failed to give me goosebumps since the first time I heard it in The Tree of Life.
#9 - Cemetery of Splendour Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Describing this film is a challenge in itself - let alone reviewing it. This is the second film I’ve seen by Apichatpong Weerasethakul and they both are masterpieces in my eyes. Cemetery of Splendour, much like the soldiers affected by a sleeping epidemic in the film, lead me down the rabbit hole into a deep trance state. I love films which feel like I dreamt them after they’re over, and that’s exactly what this movie achieved. The long takes, minimal use of a score, and gorgeous natural scenery worked together to create a relaxing and mind expanding experience.
#8 - Moonlight Directed by Barry Jenkins
I might not think that Moonlight is the very best film of the year, but it might just be the most important. It’s not everyday where you hear about masterful films that deal with homosexuality in the African American community. Jenkins tackles this subject perfectly by not making this aspect of the character’s persona the focal point of the film. It’s just as much a coming of age story about masculinity than it is a story about a guy struggling with his sexual identity. I related to this film on a very personal level because I know what it’s like being harassed by peers in school on the basis of being gay. Moonlight follows the central character Little from his adolescence in grade school all the way until manhood. Although three different actors are playing the same character, I was utterly convinced it was the same person for they all adopted the same mannerisms and personality traits. Moonlight makes a grand statement about finding out who you truly are. It sends the message that it’s possible to find acceptance by people other than your immediate family.
#7 - Midnight Special Directed by Jeff Nichols
Jeff Nichols is being praised this year on the award circuit for his touching film Loving, but it’s this film that stayed with me after watching. Never has there been a film made about supernatural abilities that has hit me on such a deep level. Midnight Special deals with a plethora of themes other than a child with superhuman abilities. These include the responsibilities of fatherhood and the special bond between parents and their child. It opens ambiguously and the intelligent plot slowly unfolds in such a way that questions are answered little by little until the absolutely soul-touching finale. Even though she has limited screen time, Kirsten Dunst added to this films perfection. The sheer humanity displayed through her performance as a mother who will do anything to keep her child out of harms way is an admirable thing. Midnight Special is a sci-fi film for the ages.
#6 - Embrace of the Serpent Directed by Ciro Guerra
The fevered madness of the jungle is alive in this flick. Embrace of the Serpent addresses the duality of man. His ability to create yet also his sure-fire knack to destroy goodness. His willingness to help others yet also falling victim to his own egoic desires. In this film, the Westernized man leads to the downfall of an ancient Amazonian civilization. Serpent focuses on two different white men, separated by decades in time, who traverse into the depths of the jungle guided by the last living member of a tribe. Both of these men are looking for a hallucinogenic plant - one to cure his terminal illness, the other for purposes of being able to dream. The end product is a head-trip into psychedelia where plant medicine is the supreme deity.
#5 - Arrival Directed by Denis Villenueve
Villenueve knocked it out of the park again this year with his latest film. Is there anything this man cannot do? The French-Canadian filmmaker strayed away from the dark and somber tone of his previous works and created something life affirming. Arrival is an example of smart science-fiction that has been coming out of the film industry recently (something along the likes of Interstellar). Humanity is put to the test in this movie as they try to figure out the intentions of the alien visitors. But it’s a story about love and loss above all. Arrival is edited perfectly by manipulating the viewer’s sense of time. Once I reached the ending and pieced it all together, I was a wet-faced audience member in that dead silent theatre as the other attendees sat dazed.
#4 - The Neon Demon Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Is it a dazzling grand statement on the depraved narcissism of the professional modeling industry? Or is it just more pretentious artistic masturbation which has become expected of Refn? My thoughts are with the former. Refn’s auteur style that he has developed upon since the release of his magnum opus Drive has been particularly polarizing among critics and audiences alike - almost as polarizing as Terrence Malick. I believe people dislike The Neon Demon for some of the same reasons why the general masses reacted so negatively to Spring Breakers: it tries too hard to be artsy, it’s just a boring music video, the dialogue is unrealistic. At the same time I feel as if these audiences didn’t grasp onto the fact that these films which shed light on the hedonistic lifestyle of deranged young women are purely satirical. They’re supposed to be absurd. The irony is is that this absurdism is actually reflective on the types of females that move to LA for the pursuit of fame and recognition. It certainly is the best looking Refn film to date, with even banal or commonplace locations drenched in neon hues. And Cliff Martinez has outdone himself with the synth-heavy score which guides us along this fairytale of horrors. How far would you go to get to the top? In Refn’s surreal vision of Los Angeles there is no such thing as going too far to reach fame, even if it means bloodshed. As one character says in the film: “Beauty isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” It would be nice to write off this statement as pure subjectivity, but what else has the media taught us but this ideal?
#3 - Nocturnal Animals Directed by Tom Ford
Do you ever really know the person you love? This is the thought running through my mind while watching Tom Ford’s romance story disguised as a crime-revenge. Ford has created a highly innovating form of storytelling with Nocturnal Animals. A violent story of revenge is presented to symbolize the betrayal that Amy Adam’s commits against Gyllenhaal’s character. What made this film so enjoyable was the aspect that it was like two different films in one, yet both stories suitably complement one another. The frustratingly ambiguous ending was delightful as the audience searches for the intentions of Gyllenhaal’s character. The whole thing was a stylish story of betrayal.
#2 - Knight of Cups Directed by Terrence Malick
My cinematic idol returned in 2016 with many ambitious projects: two different documentaries about the birth and death of the universe with Voyage of Time, a festival premiere date set for his forthcoming Song to Song, and the stream of consciousness visual poem which is Knight of Cups. I believe there is such thing as a Malick gene. His films either strike people with such awe and wonder that they come out of his films feeling enlightened or they are the cinematic equivalent of taking an Ambien for others. I have total faith that this film will be considered a classic masterpiece in decades to come. Sometimes it just takes time for a film to receive that cult status. Unfortunately, a formula which critics took such a liking to with The Tree of Life quickly became redundant and meandering in the public’s eye with his two follow-up works. Just like with all great art, it takes repeated viewings to really appreciate the philosophical mastery of this film. I’ve seen it over five times now and each time I walk away with something new - a blossoming appreciation that such abstract and soulful cinema can be financed. If you have any idea about Malick’s life then you understand that Knight of Cups is the last film in his autobiographical trilogy. I see it as a sort-of spiritual sequel to The Tree of Life. A sense of disassociation is felt through the floating camerawork which follows Christian Bale on an odyssey of temptation in Los Angeles. Malick abandons small-town rural settings and older time periods for a tale set in the present day luxury land of LA. I must admit that when the credits started to scroll I couldn’t help but ask myself: “that’s it?” The abrupt finale left me feeling a little hollow. It left me with nothing. But I soon realized that this was Malick’s intention. This was the loneliness and isolation he felt as a big-shot Hollywood director even though he was surrounded with admirers. So to save himself, he leaves that lifestyle and finds his redemption through the glories of divine Mother Nature. I am so happy that there is a director who I feel so connected to, someone who expresses his eloquent ideology through some of the most beautiful movies ever in the annals of cinematic history. Knight of Cups is a fervent reverie on love, loss and life. A haunting meditation of redeeming oneself after a swift fall from grace.
#1 - American Honey Directed by Andrea Arnold
A film so filled with life that I couldn’t help but feel exhilarated after it ended, American Honey is an epic road trip story for the millenial era. Its plot is open and free flowing much akin to the characters who traverse across the midwest in a van selling magazines to folks from all different social and economic backgrounds. American Honey exposes the dark underbelly of American households, especially for low-income ones. Youths search through trash cans in order to find a fitting meal. A drunken stepfather takes advantage of his stepdaughter. A junkie mother falls unconscious on the couch unable to take care of her young children. I might be making American Honey sound like a film filled with sorrow and hopeless situations. However Andrea Arnold takes the subject matter and actually gives it a twinge of hope. The chemistry between all the characters, most particularly between Sasha Lane and Shia Labeouf, makes it practically impossible to look away at could very well be a trainwreck waiting to happen. As soon as you think some awful event is going to happen to end the roadie’s journey of freedom - it doesn’t. American Honey sometimes feels more like a documentary than a feature film. The dialogue comes off as mostly improvisational and the plot is minimal at best. Arnold has taken cues from Larry Clark’s style of filmmaking when he released his controversial HIV drama Kids in 1995. Considering that film is in my top 10 favorite films of all time, it’s clear as to why American Honey was my favorite work released this year. With its unique aspect ratio, colorful and eccentric characters, and one hell of an eclectic soundtrack, American Honey breathed new life into me. By the end I felt almost as purified as Sasha Lane does as she takes a dip into a lake, descending to the bottom only to emerge from the surface a newly realized person.
Just watched this movie and I’ve got to say it really blew me away. The acting is fantastic, the storyline is awesome. If you’ve seen and enjoyed the movie, ‘Contact’ with Jodie Foster, you’ll understand just how good this film is. As I watched it, I couldn’t help but recall the message, in my dream some three years ago, “Our mission is to show you different dimensions.” I could not stop thinking about the reality of the UFO phenomenon that most people are not aware of and how it appears for some, 'they’ are doing just that - transforming us and our perception of this reality. I really enjoyed the message in this movie and the brilliant way that they conveyed it. Excellent film!
Power Rangers blew me away. I sat in the theater, well I reclined and enjoyed possibly the best movie of 2017. I felt the nostalgia run through my veins. It was completely different from the TV shows, but I had no problem with it. EXCEPT the ending. But I ain’t go say nothing, plus their is ONE spoiler I’ll give away, OK TWO. Jason David Frank (TV show Tommy) and Amy Jo Johnson( TV show Kimberly) were extras but really stood out in the crows. Annnnnnnnnd Tommy Oliver will be in the sequel.