AU where Jim is an actor and Spock is an infamous theater critic who just tears plays to shreds (not out of malice but just out of perfectionism) and it’s Jim’s great goal in life to get a glowing review out of him.
Eventually, Spock pens something like “However, James Kirk’s portrayal of Hamlet is one of the more notable in recent memory,” and Jim tracks him down so he can be like, “HA!”
But when they meet he realizes that this man is just a calm, intelligent, quiet sort of person who is also really genuinely sweet and then they fall in love. (obviously)
1926, the BBC. The nation listens. A woman finds her voice.
London, 1926. Maisie Musgrave is thrilled to land a job at the fledgling
British Broadcasting Corporation whose new and electrifying radio network is
captivating the nation. Famous writers, scientists, politicians – the BBC is
broadcasting them all, but behind the scenes Maisie is drawn into a battle of
wills being fought by her two bosses. John Reith, the formidable
Director-General and Hilda Matheson, the extraordinary Director of Talks
Programming, envisage very different futures for radio. And when Maisie
unearths a shocking conspiracy, she and Hilda join forces to make their voices
heard both on and off the air…
I adore this book. It has all
the things: feminism, creativity, character development, LGBTQ+ characters, the
roaring 20’s, success stories, real history, London, romance, politics, spying,
fascists, anglophiles, and technology. This is a story of a young girl throwing
herself into her career wholeheartedly and with passion in a time when it was
seen as radical and modern (in a bad way) for women to work at all. Women who
did not hold high positions (and there weren’t many of those) lost their jobs
once they got married, and maternal leave for those who were allowed to stay on
was unheard of. At the start of this novel only married women over 30 were
allowed to vote. It is actually chocking to see how widely accepted and
unquestioned this was not even 100 years ago. It has reminded me of how very
new the rights I have and take for granted are, and how much work we still have
This is one of those books
that inspire you to do great things. Seeing Masie find her passion and a great
and uplifting mentor in Hilda Matheson (who was in fact a real person, look her
up!) is so moving. Getting to see how radio and the BBC became what we know
them as today was very exciting. There was so much more to it back then that I
never thought of. As Masie becomes more comfortable in her job and her passion
for radio grows, so does her self-esteem and confidence. Masie as a character
has one of the most expansive arcs of character development that I’ve seen in a
long time, and it’s a true joy to watch her grow. However, Masie never would
have grown so much without the patronage of Hilda. I admire her so much. She is
a visionary and force to be reckoned with, and must have been so strong to
reach so high in a world and time when women were so held back. Her mantra of
“Onwards and Upwards!” and the help she gives Masie makes this a great story of
female empowerment and women building each other up, which I really think we
could use some more of, both in literature and in general.
As you can probably tell from
my gushing and rambling, I really loved this book. I had not heard anything
about it before spotting it in the bargain section of Book Depository. It was
quite coincidental that I wound up buying it. I love it when that happens –
pure serendipity. If you find any of the subjects this book touches upon interesting
– feminism, historical fiction, driven characters doing exciting work and so on
– I highly recommend this book to you. I hope you will love it as much as I do.
So I watched Lemonade Mouth yesterday and I LOVED it. I liked it almost as much as I loved Descendants. It was epic. The story, the songs the moral….everything.
I really loved that it was REAL. It wasn’t minor problems or just two rival bands fighting over nothing or over popularity. They were fighting to be heard and taken seriously.
The expectations of some parents was displayed too. A lot of times family expects too much from you. Whether it be living up to someone, being the best at a field or anything. I loved that the movie said in clear terms that you are your own person, not anyone else.
Another factor about how parents should be proud of their kids no matter what. That’s very important in a society full of expectations.
Also the respect of space of someone is important. Charlie liked Mo and sure he wasn’t happy when she rejected him at first but he learnt to accept it and respected Mo’s decision.
They didn’t really make any romance the center of the movie which was a BIG relief. Too many movies do that and it ruins the plot.
The fact that they didn’t WIN. I found that very important. Not everything in life is about winning. Sometimes you should just give things a go even if you know they won’t turn out great. The experience is what matters.
All the problems faced by the kids were real and they were resolved in a very realistic way.
All the songs had some sort of positive message. They weren’t about love or peace or any of that. They were about family, friendship and working hard while having fun. They were about self-esteem and being true to yourself (not to mention they were really catchy).
It also explores the topic of how in real life arts get pushed to the side when sciences and sports are advanced and pulled forward. It isn’t fair on the people who love them and work for them because arts are just as important.
It also says that YOU have a VOICE. You matter. Use your voice to spread good feelings and happiness and not hate and jealousy. Use your powerful voice to fix the wrong in the world.
If this movie had been released last year or the year before that it would have been a sensation. As it was, it was a little bit ahead of its time. I recommend this movie to everyone. This Movie has great songs and amazing meaningful messages just like HSM and Descendants.
Warning: This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.
From the producers of Serial and This American Life, S-Town is hosted by journalist Brian Reed.
My first critique: the description is misleading.
After hearing a few people praise this podcast, I decided to look it up on iTunes. From the description, this podcast looks as if it will be True Crime, about the investigation of a rich man who murdered someone in his youth, who would brag about the crime without consequence.
This is not what the podcast is about.
This podcast is a character study about the man who asked Brian Reed to investigate this alleged murder, John B. McLemore.
My second critique: I found this character study to be ethically questionable.
John B. McLemore is a man in his forties. He restores antique clocks for a living. There are rumors he is worth millions of dollars, though he lives as if he has nothing. He takes care of his aging mother, packs of stray dogs, and a young man he sees as his son. He’s obsessed with the state of the world. He has been fighting depression since he was a teenager.
By the end of the second episode, John B. McLemore commits suicide.
After deciding there was no story to be told in S-Town, Reed hears about McLemore’s suicide. Suddenly, there is a story to be told. The story of McLemore’s life. A story told using facts and recordings about a private citizen, given to Reed to tell the original story–the story about the alleged murder. With McLemore dead, how could he have consented to a seven part story describing the sordid and often tragic details of his life? This is never explained.
My third critique: what is the point to this story, besides unabashed voyeurism into the life of a mentally ill person, struggling with depression, hyper-fixation, anxiety, sexuality, and suicidal ideation?
It’s a good story, to be sure. But should it have even been told? Why go into the disturbing particulars of McLemore’s life? For what purpose, other than entertainment? And what do we find entertaining about it? How “different” McLemore is? How sick?
My fourth critique: As someone with a mental illness, with the same kinds of hyper-fixations as John B. McLemore, I went into this podcast believing it was one thing, when it was something else altogether. Berate me for saying I was “triggered” if you like, but after listening to the first two episodes, I spent an entire weekend in a panic spiral, believing the world was coming to an end. I’m still fighting through intrusive thoughts.
Bookmas Series: 16th December 2016
A review by Jack Rowe
The Waste Land – T. S. Eliot (1923)
The Waste Land is a sprawling epic, a free verse poem consisting of various perspectives and voices in a tumultuous post-WWI London, with so many allusions to classical works of literature and switches in language that it’s easy to get lost while reading. When I was assigned to read the text in my first term at university, I struggled to understand it on my first reading…and my second…and my third…
Despite this, once I started to see meaning in Eliot’s poem I found something incredible. What seems incoherent becomes meticulously crafted upon closer inspection, Eliot’s fragmented and isolated poetic form reflecting the way in which society had changed after the so-called Great War and become, in Eliot’s eyes, a ‘Waste Land’.
Describing the plot of the Waste Land is near impossible as there is no coherent plot in a traditional sense; the narrative is told in sections, the impact of WWI being shown on various characters, some named, some not, all being held together by the theme of war and loss.
The Waste Land is an analyst’s dream. The work is made to feel bigger than itself with the constant references to other works in the literary canon, from Dante to Shakespeare to Ovid, setting the text on a grand scale – however, for a reader looking for a poem to read with a meaning that doesn’t require hours of research and analysis to discern, this may not be the work for you.
The Waste Land is a meticulous and fascinating work to study, but is much harder to appreciate with a quick peruse than most – added to this, not one to read this holiday if you’re aiming for Christmas cheer – Walking in a Winter Waste Land just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
DIRECTED Joss Whedon WRITTEN William Shakespeare (play), Joss Whedon (screenplay) MUSIC Joss Whedon CINEMATOGRAPHY Jay Hunter STARRING Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Fran Kranz, Sean Maher, Jillian Morgese
Slow to start off, a really enjoyable, sweet, and well adapted Shakespearean springtime romp that makes it easy to get past the American accented Shakespearian struggles. And with this cast…it’s a treat!
originally posted on my old film blog - Jan 10, 2014
Starring Emma Watson, Dan
Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Gugu Mbatha-Raw,
Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Nathan Mack, Hattie
Morahan, Adrian Schiller, Haydn Gwynne and Zoe Rainey.
Screenplay by Stephen Chbosky and
Directed by Bill Condon.
Distributed by Walt Disney
Pictures. 129 minutes. Rated PG.
Even in full knowledge
that the Walt Disney Studios is on a mission to make live-action films of most
(if not all) of their animated classics, it still feels odd that they would
consider remaking Beauty and the Beast.
First of all, the film is
merely 26 years old. A single generation moved on since its release. In those
26 years, the original animated classic has never been forgotten or left behind.
It is still at the forefront of the Disney animation renaissance. It has been
watched by millions of kids, who grew up to show it to millions of their kids.
It’s rarely been off the
market as far as video for any extended times. The multiple video re-releases mean
that it is often in many people’s video libraries in several different formats.
(I personally have it on VHS, DVD [two different editions] and Blu-Ray.) It has
also had several return engagements to the theaters over the years.
It is still considered a
classic. It has still been seen by almost everyone. The bloom is far from being
off the rose.
So why, you may ask,
remake it when everyone knows and loves the original?
Good question. But they
The pleasant news is that
the new live-action Beauty and the Beast,
while probably unnecessary, is a fine adaptation of the original film. It’s
not as good as the animated classic – what could be? – but it comes
The new Beauty and the Beast is longer and
definitely somewhat darker than the original film. The extended play time
allows them a bit more room to explore some of the backstories and room to add
a few new songs. Surprisingly, “Human Again,” a last minute cut from the
original film which was later added in reissues and the Broadway musical, has
gone missing again, though a new song called “Days in the Sun” essentially
serves the same purpose, story wise.
The characters are mostly
pretty much the same. Belle’s father Maurice (Kevin Kline) is played as less
eccentric than in the original film (leading you to question why the
townspeople agreed with Gaston’s claims that he was crazy). There was a lot of
buzz before the release that Beauty and
the Beast would include Disney’s first gay character, but honestly despite
the fact that Gaston’s lackey LaFou (Josh Gad) appears to be questioning his
sexuality and have a bit of a man-crush on his friend, he doesn’t exactly hop
out of the closet.
Emma Watson and Dan
Stevens do terrific work as Belle and the Beast, not exactly making you forget
the animated characters so much as inhabiting them, but also adding a certain
something of their own to the mix.
The castle staff is the
one place where the film stumbles slightly. A walking talking candlestick and
clock and dust mop and teapot may look natural in an animated world, however
despite yeoman work in the special effects division to make computer animated
characters, they all look a little off-kilter in a live action film. It’s not a
make or break problem for the movie, but it is a distraction throughout.
In the end the
live-action Beauty and the Beast is
like a nice cover version of a favorite song. It takes something you love,
changes it a bit, but keeps the flavor, and can be wonderfully enjoyable.
However, in general, it cannot quite recapture the magic of the original. And,
speaking of cover versions, for the record, John Legend and Ariana Grande’s closing
pop single take on the classic title track is just lovely, but it’s no Celine
Dion and Peabo Bryson.
There is probably no
reason (aside from money) for a new, live action Beauty and the Beast. It will not make anyone forget the original.
However, I give Disney credit for taking such an iconic tale seriously. This Beauty and the Beast may not be as good
as the 1992 Beauty and the Beast, but
it’s surprisingly close. If this film had to be made, I guess that is the best
that you can ask for.
Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom is an amazing duology by Leigh Bardugo and I will be reviewing both of these novels. SPOILERS ahead so if you have not read the books I highly recommend reading them. SPOILER WARNING!!!
After I finished reading Crooked Kingdom I discovered Leigh Bardugo wrote the Grisha trilogy and that takes place before this. Even though everything takes place in the same universe I didn’t need to read that trilogy to understand this world. I was fine. These books are some of the best I’ve read in over a year!
THe first novel Six of Crows follows a group of characters named Kaz, Inej, Nina, Jesper, Matthias, and Wylan. Sometimes in high fantasy YA novels world building overshadows the characters, but theyy are equally balanced in these books. All of the characters are well developed and I loved reading their story arches. Are there any Kaz and Inej shippers out there?? lol.
All of the characters are flawed, but I think the two hardest backstories to read were Inej’s and Kaz’s. I just cringed when I read about them. Inej was an acrobat traveling with her family circus and was stolen and sold to a slaver. Then she was forced to work in a pleasure house until Kaz, the anti hearo, got her out. Kaz’s story about losing his brother to the plauge and crawling over all of those dead bodies…
They are my two favorite characters. Then it’s Nina, Wyland, Matthias, and Jesper.
So the first novel was basically a heist novel where the group of six had to rescue a scientes from the Ice Court and that was supposed to be impossible. They pulled it off and I love the way Kaz’s brain works. I had no idea that Wylan was Van Eck’s son and then poor Inej got kidnapped by Wylan’s dad.
All the merchs’ in this world want this drug called Parem and it greatly enhances Grisha power, but if they take it they can easily lose their minds. Nina takes it at the end to save her friends and goes through withdrawal, which has the power to kill Grisha. Van Eck promised them money if they brought back the scientist from the Ice Court, but he was dead. So they got his son instead. In a twist he wants to use the son to make more of the drug, but he’s well hidden and Nina made Wylan look like him. Van Eck was upset and then kidnapped Inej. back.
Six of Crows was like a heist novel, but the second book was kind of like a con novel. They do have to pull off a heist to get Inej back and Nina was still going through withdrawals from Parem. Nina and Matthias’s relationship is so cute and I love how they learn to trust each other and accept who the other person is. Wylan and Jesper are adorable together. The scene where Wylan finds out his mom is alive and his dad put her in an asylum because he wanted to get rid of his disgraceful illiterate son was heartbreaking. For someone who can’t read Wylan is really smart. Van Eck is one of the most despicable antagonists I have read in a while. He tried to pay people to murder his son!
“I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together - knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting,” Kaz,
That has to be my new favorite quote!! Kaz said that after they got Inej back and my heart just melted. Just like the scene where Kaz was changing Inej’s bandages and they both have trouble with touch because of trauma in their past. I love their relationship and how they try to fight through the trauma.
The scene with the auction was heart stopping and Kaz pretended to kidnap the son the the gangster leader who was to be blamed for his older brother’s death. THey’lll never see him again.
I’m glad they brought Jesper’s dad in and you could see a softer side to Jesper.
The ending was pretty satisfying: Wylan got his mom out of the asylum, Jesper lives with them, and when Kaz and Inej held hands.Kaz wasn’ t even holding his gloves! He got her a boat and found her parents. That made my cry and I laughed when Kaz asked if his tie was straight.
Okay, so I understand a character had to die and I guessed that it would be Matthias. Also I understand not wanting to kill him off during the battle, but I feel like there could have been a better way to do it. Instead of just being shot like that. Nina left to go burry him and I assume to go back to her people.
You know, it is so hard to believe that all of these characters are teenagers because they are so smart. I understand they had to grow up really fast to survive, but still. I thought they were in their early twenties until I read their real ages. Wow!
Leigh left it open for Nina and I hope to see more of her. Everything else was pretty tied up, but I just really want more from these characters. I wonder how Inej will tell her parents everything that happened. What will happen with Kaz and Inej’s relationship? Will she end up hunting slavers? Will Nina help get rid of Parem? I hope we get a third book, but if we don’t I hope in her books from this universe we’ll get snippets of what’s happening.
I HIGHLY recommend reading these books! Definitely give it a try.
Starring Michael Caine, Morgan
Freeman, Alan Arkin, Ann-Margret, Joey King, Matt Dillon, Christopher Lloyd,
Kenan Thompson, John Ortiz, Peter Serafinowicz, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Maria
Dizzia, Katlyn Carlson, Josh Pais, Melanie Nicholls-King, Camiel Warren-Taylor,
Doris McCarthy, Jeremy Bobb, Ashley Aufderheide, Chris Carfizzi and Lolita
Screenplay by Theodore Melfi.
Directed by Zach Braff.
Distributed by Focus Features. 96
minutes. Rated PG-13.
Going in Style is the latest addition to the list of old movies to
be remade because… well, why not? It may make someone some money.
The original Going in Style was not a big hit. In
fact, it was a box office disappointment at the time of its release in 1979. It
was not overly critically acclaimed. The film has not become particularly
beloved in the decades since. It never really had much of a cable or video
renaissance. It was out of print for years before getting re-released late last
year in anticipation of the remake, even then it is only available on Warner
Brothers’ rarities specialty imprint Warner Archive Collection.
So why are they remaking Going in Style again?
Well, the one thing Going in Style did have going for it was
a somewhat clever plot hook (three octogenarians plotting a bank robbery). The
story offered juicy leading roles for beloved actors over a certain age. In the
original 1979 film, those somewhat hard-to-cast elderly actors were George
Burns (fresh off of Oh God!), Art
Carney (who had won a Best Actor Oscar five years earlier for Harry & Tonto) and Lee Strasberg
(who was better known as a legendary acting teacher than as an actor.)
This time around the retirement-aged
stars are even more impressive: Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin. Then
they added in Ann-Margret, to give yet another iconic-but-underused older actor
a good job. Then they tossed in a couple of other great but slightly past their
sell-by date names – Matt Dillon and Christopher Lloyd.
Okay, you’ve got our
attention with that cast.
But then you hire actor
Zach Braff (Scrubs) as a gun-for-hire
director. Braff has had a rather hit-or-miss career behind the camera making
his own films, Garden State (which
took the interesting jaunt from critical darling to critical punching bag over
a few-year period) and Wish I Were Here (which
no one liked from the jump).
So what does this mean
for Going in Style? Is Ann-Margret
going to tell Alan Arkin that a Shins song will change his life? Or will Braff
downplay his normal millennial angst and realize this is a formula plot with a
great cast which could play the roles in their sleep, he should just stay out
of the way and let the magic happen?
Braff mostly does let his
cast do the heavy lifting, and of course they are up to it. Too bad Theodore
Melfi’s lightweight screenplay doesn’t give them all that much help. But, thanks
to these great old pros, you have a tendency to overlook the gaping plot holes
and just enjoy the company of three old, dear friends.
Joe (Caine), Willie
(Freeman) and Albert (Arkin) are retirees living in Queens, New York. They are
long-time friends who have lived across the street from each other in a newly gentrified
neighborhood for over 50 years. Joe is living with his daughter and cute
granddaughter (Joey King). Willie and Albert are sharing a brownstone.
They had worked together
in the same factory for many of those years. As the story starts, the
corporation that owns the factory announces that they are freezing and closing all
pensions and insurance, so after a life of working hard for the company, the
three men are stranded with no income except for social security, which is way
too low to live on.
Willie has some serious
medical problems which could easily kill him, but Medicare will not pay enough for
treatment. Albert is jaded about relationships, despite the fact that a local
divorcee (Ann-Margret) is basically throwing herself at him.
Joe has also been fooled
into an adjustable-rate mortgage, and suddenly his mortgage payments have
tripled. He goes into the bank to try to stop his house from being foreclosed
upon, and gets caught in the middle of an armed bank robbery.
After surviving this
ordeal, a desperate Joe decides that is the only way to save his home. Despite
the fact they have no idea how to go about a bank robbery, he eventually talks
his friends into joining in on the scheme.
heartfelt movie about common folk sticking it to the heartless bureaucrats who
gutted their pensions and sold them predatory mortgages has amongst its executive
producers a guy named Steven Mnuchin. Mnuchin is a former hedge fund manager
who was recently named Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury, where he has made it
his full-time job to try to undo the safety nets that protect common folk from
heartless bureaucrats who gut their pensions and sell them predatory mortgages.
But that’s not a
feel-good ending, and Going in Style is
all about the feel-good endings.
And deservedly so. This
movie is an escape from the problems of everyday life, not an expose on them. Going in Style is certainly not a deep
look at the problems of hard-working seniors in the modern world, but thanks to
its magical cast it is always a pretty lovable one.
In all seriousness, I’ve always fantasized about a video game where you play as a 1950s housewife who uses pastel-colored household appliances to slaughter zombies in the most brutal ways possible. Something about that picturesque, “white picket fence” era mixed with buckets of bloodshed and gore was always hilariously appealing to me.
While there are no members of the walking dead in this miniseries, Lady Killer does make great use of the time period’s various aesthetics while upping the violence to Tarantino-like levels.
The story centers around Josie, a homemaker living in the early 1960s who walks a fine line between calculating assassin and Stepford Wife. She works for an as-of-yet unknown company of hitmen, using her feminine innocence as a way of getting her targets to lower their guard before taking them out. However, she’s also a hardworking and loyal housewife, effortlessly keeping her house clean, taking care of her children, cooking dinner, and tending to her husband’s every need, often in the same panel.
While we’ve seen female assassins before, this particular time period makes Lady Killer stand out. One of Josie’s co-workers, a charming man in a suit named Peck, even makes a point to telling her that she’s one of the most dangerous killers in the business, simply because no man would suspect an attractive woman to be an assassin during that time. Josie certainly uses the ignorance of her targets to her advantage; in this issue alone, she disguises herself as both an Avon Lady and a seductive waitress to get close to her targets, and while she’s seen as both annoying and sexy, she’s never seen as “threatening”. At least until she kicks you in the face with her stiletto.
The creative team of Joelle Jones and Jamie S. Rich have done a superb job taking various aspects of the time period and blending them together to create a rich, believable world. The scenes transition from nostalgic Americana to a grittier and darker realism effortlessly, capturing a little bit of everything audiences could want to see from the era.
The use of color in this book is jaw-dropping. Considering the late-50s/early-60s time frame, pastels play a big role in the various different locations. Laura Allred brings the era to life with colorful-yet-faded pinks, yellows, and blues that are more reminiscent of advertisements in an old issue of the Saturday Evening Post than of an action comic. Seeing mint-green walls splattered with dripping, dark red blood is both memorable and downright funny.
While the story itself has captured my curiosity enough to see this entire miniseries through to the end, the one aspect I’m most impressed with is Josie herself. She could’ve easily been another one-dimensional “sexy assassin chick” who puts on a cheery facade before jumping into action, but Josie seems a lot more real to me. During one scene, she exhaustively turns down another hit job over the phone before taking in a deep breath, slapping back on her housewife smile, and proclaiming cheerily that dinner is ready. Is her happiness sincere? Is her home life taking its toll on her, or is she ready to get out of the killing business? That particular scene leaves the answer ambiguous, leaving us hungry to know more about who this seemingly-perfect woman really is.
She also has a fascinating air of femininity about her that certainly reflects the time period. After brutally stabbing one of her targets in the jugular vein, she only ever bats an eyelash upon seeing a tiny splash of blood had landed on her blue dress. While talking to Peck about her next mission, she nearly walks away in disgust when he says the word “tits” (“There’s no need to be vulgar” she says, to which he replies, with a half-smile, “Sorry, I forgot how delicate you are.”). She has no problem spilling gallons of another human being’s blood all over a kitchen floor, but has no tolerance over ruining a dress or hearing a man talk about a woman’s body in an objectifying way. It’s a refreshing take on a character who usually plays in the boy’s club by the boy’s rules.
A downside is that this is only the first issue of a five-part miniseries, meaning that we’ll only be getting four more issues chronicling the adventures of Josie the Lady Killer. Still, if those four issues are half as fun as this first one, we’re in for a real five-part treat.